Delhi Capitals walk to win seven wickets over Chennai

Short Scores: Delhi Capitals beat 190/3 (Shikhar Dhawan 85, Prithvi Shaw 72, Shardul Thakur 2-53) Chennai Super Kings 188/7 (Suresh Raina 54, Moeen Ali 36, Chris Woakes 2/18) by 7 wickets

Delhi Capitals (DC) kicked off their VIVO Premier League (IPL) 2021 campaign with a seven-wicket victory against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai yesterday.

Entertaining knockouts Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw at the top helped DC chase a challenging total with ease.

While DC were without the services of their core foreign players like Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, they played some strong backups, with Tom Curran and Chris Woakes performing for the first time for DC.

Pursuing a challenging target of 189, their openers needed an aggressive start from DC and the Dhawan and Shaw pair did just that.

The runs came in very quickly bringing in good cricket shots. While Dhawan took Sam Curran from one end, Shaw smacked Shardul Thakur for three consecutive boundaries.

Shaw opted for gaps for fun, his timing and execution being a separate class as DC raced to a total of 65 loss free at the end of the powerplay, putting pressure on the CSK bowling line.

CSK sprinter MS Dhoni delivered a spin to the attack to end the opening partnership and nearly provided them with breakthrough development but Shaw found life in the eighth over after being dropped in the field off Moeen Ali bowling.

Shaw continued the demolition while Dhawan, at the other end, kept the runs flowing, timing the ball to perfection as the DC openers brought their respective half centuries in no time.

DC maintained their run rate at the end of the 12 overs and the way Dhawan and Shaw hit the ball, they wanted to finish the game in a hurry.

It was Dwayne Bravo, who provided the success for the Chennai Super Kings after Shaw abused a wide spread straight to Moeen Ali in the depths. Hammering 72 off 38 deliveries, the right wing did its part to put DC in control.

Rishabh Pant, a first-time captain in the IPL joined the party after slicing a four-for-short and wide delivery bowled by Deepak Chahar, who conceded 12 runs in his last match.

Dhawan, meanwhile, continued to play with the bowlers’ lines and was simply hitting the ball in the gaps. However, after crushing Shardul Thakur for two consecutive fours in the 17th over, he was caught in front of him, bringing an end to an extremely entertaining inning.

Pant, though, stayed until the end and finished the hunt in style, whipping the fourth ball of the 19th for four.

Earlier, CSK, who were put into bats, lost their openers – Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad – early. While Avesh Khan du Plessis dismissed, maximizing his speed and Wankhede’s surface, Gaikwad failed to make a mark after being caught on the first slip, courtesy of a quick catch by Dhawan, providing Woakes his first wicket of the contest.

Suresh Raina marked his return to the CSK side, joining Moeen Ali at the other end, after CSK found themselves in early trouble.

Moeen counter-attacked at Avesh’s speed, smashing the sailor for a couple of boundaries. The fifth over saw Raina knocking four in a row off R Ashwin, including a trademark shot inside before CSK moved 33/2 at the end of the powerplay.

With the scoring rate stuck at 6, Moeen clipped two sixes off Ashwin in the ninth over, but the right arm spinner eventually got his man after Moeen tried to get a little too rude and finished his play at the hands of Dhawan, who finally took sudden custody.

At the halfway mark, CSK was set for 71/3, with Raina and Ambati Rayudu out in the middle, looking up the ante.

Raina beat two sixes against Amit Mishra, who bowled beautifully before the left-hander launched his googlies into orbit with a slogan sweep over the middle of a deep wicket.

The Raina and Rayudu duo forged their fifty partnership off just 24 deliveries, leading the way through for CSK. Raina reached her fifty in style, breaking half volley for maximum and with it, she was the first batsman to score fifty of the season.

DC’s Tom Curran helped pull things back after Rayudu’s crucial wicket as Dhawan grabbed yet another inning. Ravindra Jadeja joined Raina out in the middle hitting two boundaries on the first two deliveries he faced.

With five overs to go, DC managed to get the all-important wicket of the dangerous Raina, after the left-hander got involved in mixing with Jadeja, eventually running himself out.

Adding to CSK’s concerns, skipper MS Dhoni stepped out on the second delivery he faced, providing Avesh with his second wicket.

CSK reached the 150 mark at the end of 17 overs, hoping to finish on a high note. Avesh bowled beautifully at the death, finishing with figures of 2-23 off his four overs.

Sam Curran grabbed two sixes and four in the last but one and his brother, Tom at the receiving end.

Curran and Jadeja brought up the fifty run stand, powering CSK to a comprehensive total before Woakes hit the wood on the last ball of the fly.(IPL website)