New Delhi, March 26: There is something about Chennai Super Kings and winning the matches in the final overs. The defending champions defeated Delhi Capitals by 6 wickets and registered their second win in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 encounter here on Tuesday (March 26).
Chennai have won 44 matches batting second in the IPL, 25 of those wins have come in the 20th over. This further proves that CSK have made it a habit of taking the match down the wire and finishing it off in style.
Chasing a sub-par total of 148, CSK reached home for the loss of four wickets as Dwayne Bravo hit the winning runs for them while their captain MS Dhoni (32* off 35) remained unbeaten at the other end. Chennai lost their opener Ambati Rayudu (5) in the third over but Shane Watson (44 off 26) and Suresh Raina (30 off 16) laid the foundation with their 51-run partnership.
Watson - who has been in sublime form lately in the franchise-based cricket - played some brilliant attacking shots in his stay at the crease. The right-handed batsman had hammered Amit Mishra for two big sixes before getting stumped by Rishabh Pant in that very over. He was later awarded the man of the match for his breathtaking knock.
Raina - who completed 5000 runs in the IPL in the previous game - was also looking in ominous touch before Amit Mishra and Rishabh Pant's pair sent him back in the next over bowled by the leg-spinner.
As there was hardly any pressure of the scoreboard the new batting pair of Kedar Jadhav (27 off 34) and MS Dhoni took their time into the middle and ensured they don't lose in wickets to let the match slip away from their hands.
The duo hardly attacked Axar Patel (16/0), Kagiso Rabada (3.4-0-26-1) the rest of the bowlers. They punished the loose deliveries and ensured the asking rate is around run a ball in the death overs.
With 22 required by 18 deliveries, Dhoni accumulated 11 runs from Keemo Paul's over to release the pressure. Later, Dhoni scored 9 runs from the penultimate over bowled by Mishra and had 2 to get from the last six. They suffered a slight hiccup when Jadhav was dismissed by Rabada on the first delivery of the final over but a composed Dhoni hardly showed any signs of worry as Bravo hit the winning runs after playing two dot balls.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan scored a painstaking half-century in his team's sub-par 147 for 6 on a lifeless Kotla track and quality bowling from Chennai. The senior opener once again played the role of sheet anchor in his 51 off 47 balls that had seven boundaries but unfortunately failed to accelerate during the final overs. This left the home team at least 30 runs short of a fighting score.
From a comfortable 120 for 2 with the dangerous Rishabh Pant at the crease, CSK seized the momentum, effecting a middle-order collapse. Capitals lost four wickets for seven runs in just 1.5 overs.
...and fans and critics too!😜😊 https://t.co/x2KH1tdE8n— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 26, 2019
From 118 for 2 after 15 overs, the last five overs yielded only 29 runs. With the ball stopping and coming, Capitals batsmen found Dwayne Bravo's (3/33 in 4 overs) variations difficult to handle. Ravindra Jadeja (1/23 in 4 overs) also made life difficult for the Capitals in the middle overs and Harbhajan Singh (0/30 in 4 overs) also bowled as many as 10 dot balls.
Dhawan, however, continued to hold one end up and hit the occasional boundary in between, even as stroke making became increasingly difficult. Pant (25 off 12 balls), during his 41-run stand with Dhawan, tried to negate the pitch factor but did not last till the death overs. He did reach out to a short ball from Harbhajan, dispatching it over long off for a six.
In the next over, his short arm pull off Dwayne Bravo was taken by Shardul Thakur at deep square leg boundary. With Colin Ingram (2) and Keemo Paul (0) also being dismissed cheaply, followed by Dhawan, the expectations of a 175-plus total withered away.