Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni said Shikhar Dhawan deserves credit for scoring a maiden ton in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and sending Delhi Capitals to a five-wicket victory. Dhawan played a knock of 101 out of 58 balls scattered with 14 fours and a six. All-rounder Axar Patel’s 21 out of 5 in the last over played a crucial role in getting Delhi over the line. Jadeja pitched the latter and got 22 runs off.
Dhoni explained that he handed the latter to Jadeja and said in the post-match presentation, “Bravo was not fit. He went out and didn’t come back. The options were Jaddu (Jadeja) and Karn (Sharma). I went with Jaddu. “
Speaking of CSK’s inability to fire Dhawan, Dhoni said, “Shikhar’s wicket was important, but we dropped it a number of times.
“If he keeps hitting, he will keep the success rate high. Also the wicket played better in the second half, but we can’t take the honor away from Shikhar.”
In the last two overs, Delhi Capitals needed 21 runs, but Sam Curran threw brilliantly and gave up only four runs in the 19th.
A final over cameo by Axar, which saw him hit three sixes, helped Delhi Capitals chase the goal with one ball left.
Dhoni said the wicket played better in the second innings and there was enough dew to make the field better.
“There wasn’t much dew, but there was just enough to make the field better. That makes a big difference: minus 10 if you’re hitting, and the extra 10 for the team hitting second,” said Dhoni.
“A positive point was the last time Sam passed. He needs to be confident that he can execute (stump) Yorkers outside, which is something most coaching staff want the bowlers to bowl.
“If you’re not comfortable with it, you can’t really push in the game. I think this game will give him a lot of confidence when it comes to execution outside of Yorkers.
“I think this will be a pitch that is somewhat difficult to hit,” added the wicket-keeper batsman.
With this victory, the team led by Shreyas Iyer has regained the top position in the points table with 14 points.
Delhi Capitals chased for 180 runs and got off to the worst possible start when Prithvi Shaw threw the ball right back to Deepak Chahar in the very first over.
Ajinkya Rahane then joined Shikhar Dhawan in the middle, but their partnership did not blossom as Sam Curran took an exceptional catch on the point and Rahane had to walk back to the pavilion on the fifth round.
Skipper Iyer and Dhawan then rebuilt the innings, with the latter crushing the 40th IPL half century.
However, Dwayne Bravo fired Iyer to shock Delhi over in the 12th. Meanwhile, Dhawan continued his good form, pushing boundaries at regular intervals.
With 71 needed in the last seven overs, Marcus Stonis and Dhawan accelerated to lower the ever-increasing speed requirement. Stonis hit 24 runs from 14 balls before coming out in the 16th over.
Delhi Capitals required 41 runs in the last four overs before Dhawan started his attack. The comparison came down to 21 runs from the last two overs and Delhi finally crossed the line.
Earlier, after choosing to hit first, Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra’s shots brought Jadeja CSK to 179/4 in their 20 overs.
CSK will now play against Rajasthan Royals at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday 19 October.
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