Chennai Super Kings pulled a page out of its old playbook of putting runs on board and using its spinners to strangle the opposition as it defeated Delhi Capitals by 27 runs at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
For the capacity crowd that shows up for Chennai Super Kings’ home matches, it is all about M.S. Dhoni’s cameos with the bat towards the end of the innings.
On Wednesday, the skipper’s 20 off nine balls (1x4, 2x6) helped Super Kings to a respectable total of 167 for eight after electing to bat.
The Capitals’ chase started on the wrong note as it slumped to 25 for three by the fourth over as Deepak Chahar removed openers David Warner and Phil Salt. Both batters were foxed by the slowness of the pitch, giving easy catches to fielders inside the ring.
The visitor’s woes compounded when Mitchell Marsh was run out after a mix-up with Manish Pandey, who called for a run and left his partner to fend for himself.
From there on, CSK spinners came to the party as Maheesh Theekshana, Ravindra Jadeja, and Moeen Ali combined to give away just 51 runs from the ten overs between them.
Manish (27) and Rilee Rossouw (35) steadied things with a 59-run stand for the fourth wicket, but neither batter could strike at even run-a-ball as only 44 runs came for the Capitals between overs 7-15. It was during this phase the Delhi side lost the plot.
Axar Patel put up a valiant fight with a cameo of 21 (12b, 1x4, 2x6), but there was just too much for him to do.
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Earlier, on a pitch where hitting through the line was difficult, Super Kings put 49 runs in the PowerPlay thanks to a cluster of boundaries from Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ajinkya Rahane.
Delhi fought back with Axar (2 for 27) and Kuldeep Yadav to leave the host in trouble at 82 for four. Shivam Dube (25, 12b, 3x6) and Ambati Rayudu (23, 17b, 1x4, 1x6) then gave the innings impetus, plundering 23 runs off off-spinner Lalit Yadav in the 14th over.
After that, Dhoni and Jadeja forged a rapid 38-run stand for the seventh wicket off just 18 balls.
Dhoni gave the crowd their money’s worth when he deposited Khaleel Ahmed for two sixes and a boundary in the 19th over to get the home team past 160, which proved more than enough.
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