Inspired batting performances from the duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer coupled with some T20 bowling of the highest order helped Delhi Capitals annihilate CSK in the SRL on Sunday. DC bowled CSK out for just 98 runs, after a Keemo Paul blitz had taken them to a score of 199/5.
Winning the toss and opting to bat first, Delhi looked like they had the measure of the CSK bowlers right from ball one and Prithvi Shaw’s short but confident cameo served as a testament to the same. However, despite losing Shaw and then Rahane in quick succession, the Capitals were rescued by the flamboyant duo of Dhawan and Iyer, both of whom were at their flamboyant best as the duo shared an 88-run duo between them to blunt the CSK bowling. The job started by the two was then finished off by Keemo Paul, who struck 23* remarkably off just 5 balls to take DC’s score to 199/5.
CSK, on their day, are a side capable of brushing 200+ targets with ease, but right from the beginning of their chase, there was every evidence to suggest that today was, in fact, not going to be their day. After a dull start from the openers, CSK were pegged back by an Ishant Sharma double strike, after which they lost two more wickets to get reduced to 25/4 at the end of the powerplay. A painful, intent-less partnership from Kedar Jadhav and skipper Dhoni then ensued, but Lamichhane and Keemo Paul ripped through the middle-order to take DC close to the finish line. Eventually, Rabada finished off proceedings as Delhi registered a thumping 101-run win.
After getting hammered at the hands of Dhawan and Iyer, CSK ended up wrestling back the momentum in the first three death overs, but they let all their efforts go to waste by allowing Paul to obliterate them. With the score 166/5 at the time of Iyer’s dismissal, with eight balls to go, CSK dug their own grave by conceding a staggering 33 more runs to throw all the hard work they’d put in, into the trash can. It was a morale-shattering phase which hurt CSK big time and turned the tide completely in Delhi’s favour.
Highs and Lows
Delhi’s innings looked like it was headed for an underwhelming finish, but Keemo Paul then came up with arguably the finest five-ball cameo in SRL history to stun the Super Kings. Paul, in his five-ball stay at the middle, hit a four and THREE SIXES to stun CSK. It was a jaw-dropping cameo of the highest quality.
DJ Bravo’s uncharacteristic, uninspiring performance with the ball turned out to be a surprisingly low point in the match. With Chahar having done the damage upfront, the onus was on Bravo to keep Delhi under check in the middle, but his spell of 0/40 instead ended up enabling the Capitals to go for that coveted big total. An un-champion’esque performance to say the least.
Powerplay exploitation: Delhi 8/10 and Chennai 2/10
Prithvi Shaw set the tone for the Capitals up front, hitting two boundaries in the very first over, but just as Delhi started to ride on the momentum generated by the right-hander, Chahar got his revenge back on the youngster in the third over. To Delhi’s delight, though, new-man Rahane found the boundary ropes on just his third ball and despite a world-class fifth over from Imran Tahir, where the Protean conceded just 1 run, Delhi finished with a flurry of boundaries to take their score to 51/1 at the end of the powerplay.
CSK’s response to chasing 200, in the powerplay, was dull - it took two overs for them to find the boundary rope and both Watson and Faf failed to put any sort of pressure on the DC bowlers. The pressure mounted and mounted, and CSK’s worst dream came true in the third over as Ishant Sharma struck in back-to-back deliveries to send both Faf and Suresh Raina packing. At 11/2 in the third over, the situation looked bleak but a couple of more strikes from Delhi - in the 5th and 6th over - meant that CSK were left to teeter at the end of the powerplay, at 25/4, with them having already virtually lost the game.
Middle-overs manoeuvring: Delhi 8/10 and Chennai 1/10
Delhi, in the middle-overs, needed Dhawan to up the ante and Rahane to support him, and while the former did happen, Rahane, much to the Capitals’ dismay, perished in just the 8th over. However, Rahane’s dismissal turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Shreyas Iyer brought along with him his dancing shoes and together with the well-set Dhawan, the DC skipper punished the CSK bowlers - mainly latching on to some loose bowling from DJ Bravo - to bring his side’s 100 up in just the 12th over. Post the 12th over, though, it was all Dhawan as the free-stroking southpaw emulated his 2013 self and annihilated the CSK bowling to propel DC to 135/2 at the end of the 15th over.
With the required run rate having climbed up to 12 and with Dhoni and Jadhav batting with uninspiring strike rates, the match, for a moment, looked like an unwanted replay of the World Cup clash between India and England. The first six overs in the middle-phase just saw a solitary boundary and such was Dhoni and Jadhav’s Test match’esque approach that by over 11, the required run rate had risen up to 15.4. Jadhav - and then soon Jadeja - were put out of their misery by the DC bowlers, but the spectators’ agony continued as CSK ended the middle overs without getting bowled out.
Death bowling:- Chennai 3/10 and Delhi na/10
The CSK bowlers were under considerable pressure heading into the death, but they turned the tables around in emphatic fashion, giving away no boundaries in the first 11 balls of the phase, whilst also picking the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan. A problem they encountered, though, was that despite not conceding boundaries, they simply were not able to string dots together and Iyer, through 1s, 2s and occasional boundaries, continued to keep the runs flowing for DC. And to CSK’s horror, what started off in perfect fashion ended up calamitously as after Iyer’s dismissal in the 19th over, Keemo Paul played a remarkable cameo - 23* off 5 balls - to propel DC to 199/5, against all odds. CSK eventually leaked 64 runs off this phase.
With CSK needing 111 runs to win off the last 5 overs, having just two wickets in hand, the Delhi bowlers had little to do in the final five and to their credit, they finished off the job efficiently, bowling out Chennai in the first ball of the 18th over. The last two wickets were claimed by Ashwin and Rabada, as Delhi completed a stunning 101-run win.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Average
The first innings of the game, Delhi’s 199, was an absolute banger but the game was unfortunately overshadowed by the mediocrity witnessed in CSK’s batting. It was a listless performance that killed off the great vibe that Delhi’s first innings generated.
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