DD salvages some pride, beats CSK with all-round show

Helped by its spinners, Delhi Daredevils finally broke its losing streak, winning by 34 runs.

Amit Mishra (centre) and Sandeep Lamichhane kept a tight leash on CSK batsmen.   -  AP

The moment M. S. Dhoni walked out to the crease, the Feroz Shah Kotla stands lit up with flashlights. Even before, the 27,000 plus crowd was largely sporting yellow jerseys, most of them bearing his name. Delhi Daredevils could be forgiven to think it was playing an away game against Chennai Super Kings on Friday.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

That perhaps helped the host, out of reckoning and playing for pride, to finally break the losing streak with a 34-run victory, only its fourth this season. And, for once, it was the team’s bowlers who stood up to be counted after the team managed a decent 162-run total.

 

More than the regular wickets, it was the run-choke that did the job. DD rarely allowed the opposition to score more than 10 runs an over and, barring a brief period when Ambati Rayudu clobbered the bowlers all over — including Avesh Khan, who was pillaged for 22 runs in the sixth over with three huge sixes and a four over deep midwicket — CSK batsmen struggled to find the gaps. The rest faltered against the spin duo of Amit Mishra and Nepali youngster Sandeep Lamichhane. His departure saw the scoring plummet and never picked up.

Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel to the rescue

Earlier, DD managed a respectable score mainly thanks to some lusty hitting by Vijay Shankar and Harshal Patel in the last four overs that yielded 62 runs. 26 of them came in the final one off Bravo, with four sixes — three of them by Patel with a straight bat. That Bravo was given the ball was itself surprising given the fact that he had been quite expensive till then and, more importantly, the best CSK bowler on the day — Lungisani Ngidi — still had an over left.

 

Till then, DD batsmen seemed to have decided not to trouble the scorers much. Ngidi dismissed Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant in one over and the host never recovered from the setback. Prithvi Shaw got a life in the fourth over and wasted it a ball later, Iyer continued to stretch and drag with little rewards, Glenn Maxwell's wretched outings continued — he hasn't managed to score a total of 150 runs so far this season — and Abhishek Sharma got a reality check after the last match’s heroics. Barring a few big hits by Pant, there was little application from the host.

Dhoni had said after winning the toss that the pitch would deteriorate later in the day but it was a chance he was willing to take. For a team with little at stake, this was clearly the best time to experiment in a difficult situation. The result wasn’t in its favour but Dhoni would hope his aim of learning and improving was achieved.

Lost opportunity

Table-topping Sunrisers Hyderabad's loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday had presented Chennai Super Kings, which had 16 points against SRH's 18, a chance to go to the top of the table on net run rate. But, chasing 163 for a win against bottom-placed Delhi Daredevils, CSK fell short by 34 runs.

It, therefore, remains second with 16 points and one match left to play. (Sunrisers and Super Kings have already qualified for the playoffs and are primed to finish first and second, depending on the results in their final fixtures, on the points table.)