T20 2018: MS Dhoni's hard knock helps Chennai inch closer to playoffs

May 01, 2018, 08:08 IST | Shreeram Gokhale

Shane Watson and MS Dhoni were the chief architects of the CSK win, with useful contributions from Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis

Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni slams one during his 22-ball 51 against DD yesterday. Pics/AFP
Chennai captain MS Dhoni slams one during his 22-ball 51 against DD yesterday. Pics/AFP

Facing Mumbai on Saturday, Chennai were 91 for one after 10 overs, before eventually ending up scoring 169. Two days later, at the same venue against Delhi, they were 96 for no loss after the first 10 overs. And this time the Chennai boys made sure the start wasn't wasted by smacking 115 runs in the second half, which helped them score a 13-run win and top the table.

Shane Watson (78) and MS Dhoni (51) were the chief architects of the Chennai win, with useful contributions from Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis. Delhi made good use of the Powerplay overs, but lost too many wickets in the first half. Colin Munro's 16-ball 26 helped Delhi score 59 runs in the Powerplay, but the visitors had lost Munro, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer and Glenn Maxwell by the end of the ninth over.

Chennai's Shane Watson en route his 40-ball 78 against DD yesterday
Chennai's Shane Watson en route his 40-ball 78 against DD yesterday

Rishabh Pant played a brilliant fighting knock to just about keep Delhi in the chase. But once Lungi Ngidi had Pant caught by Jadeja at sweeper in the 18th over, the game was over as a contest. Pant smashed seven fours and four sixes in his 45-ball 79-run knock. Vijay Shankar then smacked five sixes to score 54 off 31 balls, ensuring an exciting finish. Delhi finished at 198 for five.

The Chennai innings was a superb exhibition of clean hitting. After some relatively quiet overs, Watson launched into Liam Plunket, hitting him for back to back sixes. Faf du Plessis added one more as the hosts plundered 20 runs of the over No. 5. Plunket's next over went for 15, as Watson struck two more sixes, and the Chennai run rate soared over 10 by the end of the seventh over. Du Plessis struggled to maintain the tempo at the other end, and that perhaps was the only reason Chennai didn't score around 230. However, Du Plessis' 33 at a run-a-ball and his 102-run opening stand in 10.5 overs with Watson laid the foundation for a big Chennai total.

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