It was a drizzly evening in Delhi during the Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils match at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium on Monday. But it wasn’t heavy enough for umpires to stop play at any point of time.
Yet it was persistent enough for the giant scoreboards at the Stadium to helpfully flash the Duckworth-Lewis par score as CSK went about chasing the 179-run target set by the Daredevils.
The vagaries of the D-L system are such that after 13 overs, Chennai at 103/1 were six runs behind the par score. Delhi probably wouldn’t have guessed that mathematically they were ahead at this point. Indeed the first two balls of the next over bowled by Lakshmi Rattan Shukla were hit for a four and six by Dwayne Smith. Delhi were again back doing the chasing.
It was a pattern that would repeat itself as CSK eventually won by eight-wickets with two balls in hand. Delhi would claw back with a few good overs or dot balls, only for Chennai to undo all that effort with a big over or a few big hits.
Calm before the storm
A quiet spell saw Delhi keep CSK to 146/1 after 17 overs — one run behind the par score. Bowling the 18th Mohammad Shami widened the equation with singles of the first three balls. Dwayne Smith though would follow that up with four, six, four, and Delhi were worse off from where they started.
Delhi would be offered another bit of hope in the penultimate over when Wayne Parnell had Smith holing out for 79. At the start of the over, 16 were needed off 12 but Parnell kept the equation to CSK needing 11 off 6 bowled by Jaydev Unadkat.
With Suresh Raina at the other end, the damage off the first ball was kept to a single. But MS Dhoni took 12 off the next three — six, double and then a winning boundary past cover — to seal the match.
The win was Chennai’s sixth in seven games this season and also their sixth straight over the Daredevils. While Dhoni finished things off, all the batsmen made runs. Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum once again got the team off to strong start putting on 82 in 11.2 overs before McCullum fell for 32.
Suresh Raina kept the momentum going with an unbeaten 46 off 26 balls, including six boundaries and a six. Dwayne Smith meanwhile cleared the fence eight times to move within 10 runs of Glenn Maxwell on top of the run-scorers’ list.
Delhi rarely seemed like taking wickets. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem persisted in bowling a negative line outside leg-stump to the right handers. CSK also enjoyed a bit of luck. McCullum was dropped on 23 and Raina got a chance when he edged Unadkat past keeper Dinesh Karthik on 19 with the score 123/1 after 14.4 overs.
A batting silver lining
Earlier Daredevils saw Dinesh Karthik get his second fifty of the season as they got their second highest total of the campaign. However, the side lost wickets in clusters whenever they seemed to be getting some momentum. Quinton de Kock was run out for 24 with the score 34 after 4.1 overs and captain Kevin Pietersen followed for a golden duck in the same over. Karthik dismissal for 51 in the 13th over would trigger a collapse that saw Delhi lose three wickets for nine runs to stumble to 119/5.
A late surge by Kedar Jadhav (29 off 18) and Delhi’s most consistent batsman of the campaign JP Duminy (28 off 17) boosted the score towards the end with 44 runs of the last three overs, but it would not be enough.