Chennai Super Kings 181-2 (Smith 79) beat
Delhi Daredevils 178-5 by eight wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Delhi
The Chennai Super Kings made it six Indian Premier League 2014 wins in a row with their sixth consecutive victory over the Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
For the third time, Delhi posted a score in excess of 175 against the two-time champions, managing 178 for five, but they came up short.
Dwayne Smith hit 79 in 51 balls and MS Dhoni finished things off with two balls to spare as the Super Kings consolidated their position at the top of the table, now with 12 points on the board from seven games. The Daredevils continue to languish one place from the bottom with just four points from seven games.
Chasing a tall order in 179, once again Chennai were given a strong start by arguably the best opening pair in the tournament so far. Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum continued their fine form and added 82 runs for the first wicket with the runs coming in only 68 balls.
This was their fourth half-century stand in seven matches this season so far, with the 50-run mark coming in 40 balls.
The first wicket fell in the 12th over only because the innings hit a plateau as both batsmen started looking for boundaries rather than looking to rotate the strike in their absence. It seemed as if something needed to give and indeed McCullum was out, caught in the deep. He scored 32 runs off 35 balls with five fours.
But Smith carried on unaffected and hit his fourth half-century of the season. He reached the landmark off just 38 balls, hitting two fours and six sixes.
In doing so he added 86 runs for the second wicket with Suresh Raina, who also played an innings of nonchalance from the word go as more than 100 runs were needed off the last 10 overs.
Nothing deterred the Chennai batsmen though as Smith and Raina laid into the Daredevils' bowling, putting up 50 runs off only 26 balls, with the 100-run mark and the 150-run mark coming in the 13th and 18th overs respectively.
Smith finally fell in the penultimate over, caught in the deep just on the ropes by Vijay, after scoring 79 runs off 51 balls. In all he hit four fours and eight sixes and the disappointment was visible because he couldn’t finish off things for his team, although he need not have worried since skipper MS Dhoni walked in.
With 11 runs needed off the last six balls, 'Captain Cool' finished things off with two balls to spare, scoring 12 runs off 5 balls with one four and one six.
At the other end, Raina was unbeaten on 47 from 27 balls, with six fours and one six. Wayne Parnell (1-25) and Shukla (1-31) were the two wicket-takers for the Daredevils.
Earlier, the Chennai Super Kings won the toss and elected to field first. Delhi got off to a brisk start with openers Murali Vijay and Quinton de Kock adding 36 runs for the first wicket in four overs.
It seemed a good pitch to bat on and the batsmen were intent to make use of it when disaster struck for the Daredevils, as Vijay sent back de Kock, who was intent on a second run, and the latter was run out. He scored 24 runs off 16 balls with three fours and two sixes.
It became a double whammy for Delhi then as skipper Kevin Pietersen (0) was bowled off the first ball he faced by Mohit Sharma (1-51). Dinesh Karthik then joined Vijay and for once made his high price tag count.
He scored a rollicking fifty to rebuild the innings and cement his side’s position. In doing so he put on 71 runs for the third wicket with Vijay who scored 35 runs off 30 balls, with two fours and one six.
Their partnership took Delhi past the 50-run mark in the eighth over, and then the 100-run mark five overs later. Karthik reached his fifty thereafter off 35 balls, hitting four fours and three sixes.
Delhi would have wanted him to carry on and see the innings through but he was out almost immediately afterwards, finally scoring 51 runs off 36 balls. It was again a serious blow with Laxmi Ratan Shukla (0) and Vijay dismissed quickly thereafter.
Once again JP Duminy was left to finish off things for the Daredevils, only this time he found an able partner in Kedhar Jadhav. They added a swashbuckling 58 runs off 34 balls for the sixth wicket as both were unbeaten in the end.
Duminy scored 28 runs off 17 balls with five fours as Jadhav stole the limelight, smacking 29 runs off 18 balls with two fours and two sixes, 18 of which came in the last over of the innings.
Ben Hilfenhaus (1-34), Ravindra Jadeja (1-23) and Ravichandran Ashwin (1-29) were the other wicket-takers for Chennai.
© Cricket World 2014