Delhi Daredevils outclassed Chennai Super Kings in all aspects of the game to beat the defending champions by 8 wickets in a lopsided rain-delayed match at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi today.
Chennai Super Kings committed hara-kiri as four of their batsmen ran themselves out to present Delhi Daredevils with an easy target to achieve. Set 111 to win, Delhi achieved the target in the 14th over with 40 balls to spare.
Kevin Pietersen and Mahela Jayawardene, both of whom joined the team just ahaed of this encounter, remained unbeaten to see their side through.
Pietersen and Jayawardene, who were just recently on opposing ends during their Test series, teamed up to put on a 61-run unbeaten partnership. The Englishman smashed an unbeaten 43 off 26 balls (3x4, 2x6) and Jayawardene ended on 20.
Delhi Daredevils team-mates celebrate the fall of a Chennai Super Kings wicket. Pic/AFP
The Daredevils lost just the their two openers on the way to victory. Naman Ojha and skipper Virender Sehwag started the run-chase in a hurry as they added 32 runs in just 3.2 overs, before Ojha (14) became the fifth run-out victim of the night.
Sehwag looked as he wanted to finish the game by the 10th over, dazzling the Delhi crowd with his strokeplay. But his stay at the crease was cut short by R Ashwin. His brief 21-ball stay in the middle produced 33 runs that included four boundaries and a six.
Earlier, a disciplined bowling effort backed by some woeful running between the wickets by opposition batsmen helped the Daredevils restrict the defending champions to a modest 110 for eight.
With as many as four CSK batsmen being victims of horrible misunderstandings, Sehwag's bowlers also responded by keeping the batsmen under tight leash. While Morne Morkel returned with best figures of 2/19 from four overs, it was spin twins Roloef van der Merwe (4-0-15-0) and young Shahbaz Nadeem (3-0-9-0) who gave away only 24 runs in their seven overs to set the match up for the home team.
Sehwag won the toss and rightfully elected to field as the wicket had a bit of juice and there was enough for the home side bowlers to exploit the windy conditions. Chennai got off to a worst possible start as Murali Vijay (0) became victim of a terrible mid-pitch mix-up with Faf du Plessis and was run out on the very first ball of the innings.
Du Plessis just tapped the ball and sold a dummy to his partner as he got off the blocks only to retreat back. Poor Vijay ran three quarters of the pitch and by then had no chance of making it back as Mahela Jayawardene whipped off the bails.
Du Plessis (15) played a couple of punchy shots through the cover region but paid for his impetuosity as he tried to cut Morkel but Van der Merwe took a fine low catch at cover.
One-down Suresh Raina (17) made his intentions clear from the outset as he first hit Pathan for a huge six over deep mid-wicket and then pulled a short one from Umesh Yadav over fine leg. But he couldn't sustain it for to long as he too became one more victim of a run-out.
Raina's dismissal was an example of horrible running between the wickets by the men in yellow -- he was caught a foot short off his crease after taking off for a quick single but failed to beat Yogesh Nagar's accurate throw onto the stumps and wicketkeeper Naman Ojha completed the dismissal.
Subramaniam Badrinath was scratchy to begin with but then tried to break the shackles with a lovely six off Pietersen over mid-wicket, before he became the third batsman to be run out.
Ravindra Jadeja (13), failed to deliver as he was brilliantly caught by Ojha, who dived to his left to snap up a fine one-handed catch.
Credit should be given to Ven der Merwe and Nadeem as they bowled brilliantly in tandem. Between 10-15 overs, CSK could manage only 15 runs with Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (11, 18 balls) and Dwayne Bravo (22, 31 balls) found it difficult to hit the big shots.
While the pacers found good carry, there was something in it for the spinners too as the ball was stopping and coming onto the bat. With both failing to accelerate, a frustrated Dhoni's woeful IPL continued as he tried a wild heave only to be holed out long-on off Morkel's bowling. Bravo's sedate knock ended when a delivery from Umesh kept low and was bowled.
The match started half-an-hour late due to rain and wet outfield in the evening and some technical issue due to the lights behind the sight screen.
CSK: 110 for 8 in 20 overs (Dwayne Bravo 22, Suresh Raina 17; Morne Morkel 2 for 19)
DD: 111 for 2 in 13.2 overs (Kevin Pietersen 43*, Virender Sehwag 33*; R Ashwin 1 for 21)