MS Dhoni was not supposed to play this match. But he did and how. This match once again highlighted the importance of Dhoni for CSK. The batsman, the captain, the wicketkeeper all were on display as CSK crushed DC by 80 runs at home. Jadeja and Tahir shared 7 Delhi wickets for 21 runs to complete the mauling of Delhi Capitals.
Losing the toss batting first, Watson and Faf started in an exceptionally sluggish fashion. Watson was out for naught in the 4th over after facing 9 deliveries. In the first 4 overs, CSK had just scored 7 runs and was going nowhere. In the powerplay, CSK had just put on 27 runs and by the end of 14th over CSK had scored just about run a ball 88 with the loss of two wickets. Suresh Rain and MS Dhoni then joined hands to attack Delhi and scored 91 in the last 6 overs. That’s more than half the runs. Dhoni scored 21 runs of Boult’s final over to help CSK reach an above par 179.
In defense, CSK started well picking out Shaw in the very first over. As Delhi seemed to come back in the game Harbhajan Singh removed Dhawan in the 6th over. At the halfway stage, CSK had Delhi at 80 for 4. However, Tahir and Jadeja initiated a collapse in the second half of DC innings. And, by the 16.2 overs, Delhi was all-out for 99. CSK had a massive victory against a top team by 80 runs.
Suresh Raina top scored for CSK with 59 at the strike rate of about 160. Man of the match MS Dhoni scored 44 with a strike rate of 200. He was also involved in two stumpings. Imran Tahir was the peak of the bowlers picking 4 wickets for 12 in 3.2 overs. Ravindra Jadeja also wreaked havoc with 3 for 9 in 3 overs to help CSK crush Delhi Capitals.
Delhi capitals were found out at Chepauk, technically as well as strategically. First, they let slip a game that was in their grasp and then they could come close to the target, forget about overcoming it. They lost 2 points and had a crucial dent in their net run-rate. And in the process, Delhi Capitals let the other teams know how to beat them.
Winning the toss bowling first on a turning Chepauk pitch, it looked like a perfect decision until 14 overs into the CSK innings. Boult was exceptional in the initial overs well supported by Suchith. Delhi hardly let CSK score in the powerplay. However, MS Dhoni presence and Raina’s skills dismantled the Delhi attack in the last 6 overs scoring 15 an over. Delhi made a crucial mistake of not bowling full quota from their spinners Axar Patel and Amit Mishra.
Chasing 180, Delhi had a much better start when Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer looked set to take them home. Once Dhawan got out in the final over of the powerplay, no other batsman could stick around long enough with Iyer for Delhi to have any chance of getting to the target. Delhi batters just came and went against Tahir and Jadeja getting all out for 99.
Suchith was the peak of the bowlers picking 2 for 28. Despite conceding 16 in first 3 overs, Mishra did not complete his quota. Boult eventually went for 37 after a superb start. Shreyas Iyer top scored with 44. Second highest was Dhawan (19). Rest of the batsmen could not cross single digits and Delhi eventually failed to cross 100 run mark losing the match by 80 runs.
Chennai Super Kings will play their last game of the league stage away from home against Kings XI Punjab on 5th May 2019. Kings XI Punjab has to win both the game whereas CSK might want to try out a few fringe players before the playoffs which might work in the favor of KXIP. Dhoni who is struggling a bit with fitness might miss out on the last league game for CSK.
Delhi Capitals will play the last game of the season at home against Rajasthan Royals on 4th May 2019. Delhi has already qualified and would be keen to end up in the top two teams of the league stage. Rajasthan Royals had to share a point with RCB the other day and they would want a win in their last league match to get to 13 points and then, hope for a place in the playoffs.
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