Dwayne Smith took the attack to the Delhi Daredevils bowlers as the Chennai Super Kings registered an emphatic 8-wicket win with two balls to spare. While chasing a competitive 179, the CSK opener – who was ably supported by Brendon McCullum and Suresh Raina during separate phases of the run-chase – struck four fours and eight maximums on his way to a 51-ball 79. While he got out in the 19th over, the ever-dependable MS Dhoni took over and ensured the Men in Yellow got over the line.
Earlier, MS Dhoni won the toss and asked DD to bat first. Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay opened for the Daredevils. While the latter was slow off the blocks, the young South African batsman went after the CSK bowlers from the get go. During his 16-ball stay in the middle, de Kock (24) struck three fours and two maximums and gave his team a good start. However, an unfortunate mix-up in the fifth over found him short of the crease. Kevin Pietersen (0), who replaced him, got a first-ball duck; Mohit Sharma cleaned him up to leave DD on 37 for two in 4.3 overs.
But then, Dinesh Karthik joined Vijay in the middle and the duo stitched together an innings-steadying partnership. And despite coming in to bat later, Karthik soon overtook his partner and led the Daredevils past the 100-run mark in the 13th over; he also brought up his half-century in the same over. However, soon thereafter, he was dismissed by Ben Hilfenhaus. Laxmi Shukla (0) was the next man to depart; R Ashwin dismissed him in the 14th over. And shortly thereafter, Ravindra Jadeja ended Vijay’s (35) resistance.
However, that was the last bit of success the CSK bowlers would taste as JP Duminy and Kedar Jadhav joined forces and took the attack to the opposition. During their 34-ball unbroken stand, the pair plundered 58 runs. These runs included seven fours and two sixes. Eventually, Duminy (28*) and Jadhav (29*) took DD to 178 for five in their allotted 20 overs.
In response, the CSK openers – Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum – started out with a bang. The DD bowlers had no answers for Smith’s regular big hits; the West Indian batsman struck eight of those during his innings. Meanwhile, McCullum was playing second fiddle to his partner, who did bulk of the scoring. The pair added 82 runs in 11.2 overs, before McCullum (32) was caught by Vijay – off Shukla’s bowling – near the long-on fence; Suresh Raina replaced him in the middle. Meanwhile, Smith continued his onslaught and brought up his half-century in the 14th over with a strike to the fence. And later, even Raina got in on the action by scoring timely boundaries.
At the end of 15 overs, CSK had reached 127 for one and the run-chase equation read 52 off 30 balls. And thanks to some big-hitting, the equation came down to 38 off 24 balls. But the next over, bowled by Jaydev Unadkat, yielded only five runs; and with a constant downpour, there was a possibility of the Duckworth-Lewis Method coming into play. As per the D/L method, at that point, DD were one run ahead of CSK. However, as a result of an expensive 18th over, DD were left with 16 to defend off 12 balls.
However, Smith (79) departed in the next over; Vijay pouched his catch in the outfield off the bowling of Wayne Parnell – who gave away just five runs off the 19th over. But MS Dhoni – who struck a six and the winning four in the last over – made sure CSK got home with two balls to spare. Raina remained unbeaten on 47 at the other end.
Man of the Match: Dwayne Smith for his match-winning innings.