Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

IPL: Watson, Dhoni star as Chennai beat Delhi

Deepak Chahar pulled his hamstring in the fifth over of the innings against Mumbai Indians Deepak Chahar pulled his hamstring in the fifth over of the innings against Mumbai Indians
Eugene Bates | 02 May, 2018, 01:59

Chennai Super Kings put a dent to any hopes Delhi Daredevils supporters may have had of a honeymoon period after the visitors were beaten by 13 runs in their Indian Premier League (IPL) game on Monday night. It is the second match for Shreyas Iyer as captain. "T20 is not much workload, so it's manageable", said Dhoni after scoring his fastest IPL fifty, against Delhi Daredevils on Monday. Rishabh Pant (79) and Vijay Shankar (54) played quick innings in the end but the target always seemed too much. Thanks to Ngidi's controlled last over, CSK beat DD by 13 runs to regain their top spot on the points table. Watson, who got to his half-century off 25 balls, made 78 before he miscued an attempted big-hit off Amit Mishra and holed out to long-off.

Former Australian all-rounder, Shane Watson's career was at the crossroads before the IPL began.

Dhoni also stressed on the need to manage the workload during the hectic IPL days and cited that as a reason for making as many as four changes in the line-up that faced Delhi Daredevils. The home team's innings was given a great start by openers Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis, but it was captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's knock that provided the impetus.

Watson found the boundary with a wristy stroke from the next delivery and continued to motor, Liam Plunkett coming in for some punishing treatment in three wicket-less overs which cost 52 runs. CSK, on the other hand, registered their sixth win in eight matches and overtook Hyderabad on the table.

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir, medium-pacer Dwayne Bravo and leggie Karn Sharma have also made breakthroughs for CSK at crucial moments. With the new ball at the other end, KM Asif, an MRF Pace Foundation trainee who impressed in the domestic T20s for Kerala with raw pace, also cranked it upwards of 140 clicks. It showed the gap that there has to be filled between a Dhoni and a Pant, two names often taken together when it comes to Team India in the shortest format. They lost their first wicket in the form of Plessis (33) who was followed by Suresh Raina (1) in the next over and later Rayudu (78). His tornado of an innings saw Chennai get past the 200 run mark easily. Round the wicket from Maxwell, pitching outside off and the batsman misses his swing as the ball skids on straight to the stumps.

An enterprising innings from Pant included four sixes before the impressive Lungi Ngidi removed him in the 18th over.

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