T20 2018: Delhi beat Chennai by 34 runs
Vijay Shankar (36* off 29) and Harshal Patel (36* off 16) scripted Delhi's recovery after a pedestrian performance from the top-order, helping the hosts reach 162 for five with an unbeaten 65-run stand off 32 balls
Delhi cricketer Vijay Shankar plays a shot during the T20 cricket match at the Feroz Shah Kotla cricket stadium in New Delhi/ AFP
Delhi restored some pride with an upset 34-run win over the formidable Chennai in a dead rubber of the T20 on Friday. Vijay Shankar (36* off 29) and Harshal Patel (36* off 16) scripted Delhi's recovery after a pedestrian performance from the top-order, helping the hosts reach 162 for five with an unbeaten 65-run stand off 32 balls.
Leg-spinners Amit Mishra (2/20) and Sandeep Lamichhane (1/21) then starred in an impressive bowling effort that restricted Chennai to 128 for six. All-rounder Patel chipped in with the ball as well by taking the prized wicket of Ambati Rayudu (50 off 29).
It was Delhi' fourth win of the season in 13 games. The already eliminated team has one more game to play on Sunday. The unexpected loss was Chennai's fifth in 13 matches and they remain second on the points table. Chennai was cautious, to begin with, collecting just 22 runs off the first five overs.
Rayudu cut loose in the following over, smashing pacer Avesh Khan for 22 runs courtesy three sixes and a four. Rayudu, the team's leading run scorer with 585 runs at 48.75, maintained his rich vein of form with his third fifty of the season. He departed the very next ball to leave Chennai at 70 for two in 10 overs, needing 93 off the last 60 balls.
Suresh Raina (15 off 18), dropped by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant on the first ball he faced, did not make it count as Nepal spinner Lamichhane had him caught at deep midwicket. Skipper MS Dhoni (17 off 23) could not do the finishing job for his team which never really got going in the chase.
Earlier, Lungi Ngidi (2/14) broke the backbone of Delhi batting by removing Shreyas Iyer (19 off 22) and Pant (38 off 26) in the 11th over. Shankar and Patel lent some respectability to the total with a blistering partnership. The final flourish included a 26-run 20th over when Dwayne Bravo was hammered for four sixes.
It was an inconsequential game but a sizable number of Dhoni fans blended with the home team's supporters to make it a packed house. Bangalore and Hyderabad chased down 180 plus target with ease in the previous two games at Kotla and expectedly the Chennai skipper Dhoni had no hesitation in bowling first.
Delhi were sluggish at the start, mustering just 39 runs in six-over Powerplay. Prithvi Shaw (17 off 17) was out cheaply for the third game in a row after he played a loose stroke to be caught at long-on. Iyer opened the innings with Shaw in Jason Roy's absence and Delhi skipper's innings too was a shaky one. The captain shared a 54-run stand for the second wicket with the in-form Pant but the South African pacer Ngidi removed them in the same over to leave Delhi at 81 for three.
Iyer was bowled while making room for a big shot while Pant mistimed a hit over midwicket to be caught at third man. Delhi had lost two of their main batsmen shortly after Pant punished veteran Harbhajan Singh for two sixes and a four in the 10th over which leaked 17 runs. The momentum of the Delhi innings picked up from the Harbhajan over did not last long. Playing for pride after another sorry season, Delhi batsmen looked out of sorts.
Glenn Maxwell's disastrous run continued when he saw his stumps disturbed after attempting a reverse sweep off Ravindra Jadeja.
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