IPL Cricket: Watson and Dhoni star as Super Kings go top

02 May, 2018, 02:00 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Deepak Chahar pulled his hamstring in the fifth over of the innings against Mumbai Indians

Trent Boult and the Delhi Daredevils were left chasing more than 200 against the Chennai Super Kings and fell short in their run chase.

Rishabh Pant scored an excellent 79 from 45 and Vijay Shankar added a rapid 54 not out off 31 but it was not enough as Delhi finished on 198-5 in reply.

Pant briefly had Delhi believing a comeback was on, despite his confusion leading to skipper Shreyas Iyer being run out. He went on to score 78 runs off 40 balls that included seven sixes and four fours. Shane Watson and MS Dhoni both struck magnificent half-centuries to move CSK one step closer to securing a playoff berth.

The next stop: Delhi next face the Rajasthan Royals on Thursday in a must-win clash for the Daredevils if they are to have any hope of reaching the final four, as Chennai head to Eden Gardens on Friday to face the Kolkata Knight Riders to cement their spot atop the IPL table.

In the match, Watson and Dhoni gave a class in power hitting while helping CSK to 211 for 4 after put to bat by Delhi.

Earlier, openers Watson (78) and Faf du Plessis (33) provided a ideal start before skipper Dhoni and Rayudu (41 not out) finished the proceedings in style to power Chennai Super Kings to an imposing total.

The wicketkeeper-batsman raised the roof with five sixes in a breathtaking visit to the crease, putting on 79 with Ambati Rayudu (41 off 24) in just six overs.

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Shreyas Iyer, the Daredevils captain, then introduced Shankar, who had bowled just 2.3 overs in the tournament prior to this game, to make up for Plunkett's poor start. With the new ball at the other end, KM Asif, an MRF Pace Foundation trainee who impressed in the domestic T20s for Kerala with raw pace, also cranked it upwards of 140 clicks.

Batting first, the CSK made 211.

The steely Pant was dismissed by South African fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, who recently rejoined the Chennai squad following the death of his father. Captain Dhoni has now scored 3356 runs; he overtook Gautam Gambhir's aggregate of 3518 runs.

Also, other batters like opener Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant and all rounders Glenn Maxwell will need to come out with their best against Chennai.

Pune: Chennai Super Kings skipper M.S. Dhoni said his back was "quite bad", but nothing much he could do because of a lack of resting period in the IPL.

Also, Suresh Raina found his touch with the willow as the southpaw smashed a 47-ball unbeaten 75 against Mumbai, comprising six fours and four sixes.

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