ON a night of comeback, Prithvi Shaw returned to IPL to return Suresh Rai at Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Delhi Capitals’ fast bowlers did enough damage with the new and old ball to ensure that the legendary depth of Super Kings already had to stretch itself – Raina scored fifty himself – to get them to a very competitive total.
Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan soon took any competitive edge out of that total with 65 in the powerplay, only a brief slowdown thereafter, and an opening stall run by 138 from over 10 and over.
Dhawan played his part to perfection, starting quickly to allow Shaw some time at the top and then carry on at a high strike rate even after Shaw went out. Here are two important ticks for Capital plans.
ABOUT THE DEPTH…
All the talk that went into the contest was around the batting depth of the Super Kings, with Dwayne Bravo batting at No. 9, and it was to be tested right away.
He swung the new ball to Chris Woakes and Avesh Khan, and both bowled full enough to make use of it. Avesh Faf du Plessis lbw, Woakes got rid of Ruturaj Gaikwad, and suddenly the depth didn’t seem to matter. But thanks to Raina and Moeen Ali, Super Kings went 7 for 2 for 2.1 overs to finish with 33 in the powerplay.
THE DEPARTMENT IS A MATTER, BY
However, the middle spins were different from what Super Kings are used to, especially when the two left-handed batters started taking on spinner R Ashwin. He was mostly Moeen, though, with four in a row in Ashwin’s first game, and then six in a row in his next.
By the time Moeen got out to Ashwin, he had set Super Kings on their way. Raina grabbed the baton and ran at Amit Mishra and Ashwin. The Capitals were forced to get back to pace, but Raina welcomed Marcus Stoinis with two sixes to grab his fifty.
WICKETS AND BRAKES
However, Tom Curran and Avesh Khan managed to slow down Super Kings sufficiently before the death was over. Curran Rayudu got out with a slower ball, MS Dhoni Avesh played on for a duck. Add Raina’s run in the middle with Ravindra Jadeja running into the bowler and turning down the second, and you had 38 runs in five overs starting with the 14th.
It wasn’t just the wickets, it was good defensive bowling, batters’ handcuffs. Sam Curran got the better of his brother Tom in the 19th over to give Super Kings the finishing kick, but he was still below par on the flat surface of Wankhede.
YOU HAVE TO, SHAW GO
Ricky Ponting may be in for some throws for Shaw between games. Before starting this IPL, Ponting revealed that Shaw does not like batting when out of form but that it is difficult to stay away from training when he is running.
And it’s been in the runs for a while. However, the Vijay Hazare trophy runs came without anyone watching. Shaw would have wanted to show everyone that he was back. And he announced it with the second ball he faced, drawing Deepak Chahar’s whip for four.
Dhawan made the first big attack, though, hitting Sam Curran for game four and six in the fourth over. Shaw joined the party in the fifth over, taking Shardul Thakur away for three fours. Shaw kept going, pulling the spinners down after a couple of quiet headlines just after the powerplay. Shaw scored on two ball runs, allowing Dhawan the freedom to be at a quieter strike rate 150 at the time he got out.
There were times when they all looked good for a century. Shaw needed 28 out of 51 when he went out to Bravo’s slower ball. Dhawan then kicked on to ensure there was no overly familiar late drama. The last 10 balls he faced with 20 runs came to Capitals. He needed 15 out of 22 for a century when he was caught plumber by ykker Thakur.
There was really no drama as the Capitals got there with eight balls to spare. (Cricinfo)