Delhi Daredevils' season of woe continued, as they came up with yet another timid display, this time against Chennai Super Kings in a Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 clash at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday (April 18). The bowling continued to bleed runs and the batsmen continued to live up to reputation of being dangerous on their day, only to fizzle out like a cracker on a wet surface. The end result was a comprehensive 86-run loss, putting them almost on the verge of elimination even before the tournament was halfway complete, with six defeats in six matches. (Match in pics)
Chennai blasted their way to 169 for 4 in 20 overs after opting to bat. But the change of innings immediately brought with it a sense of anti-climax as Delhi's chase fizzled out even before the powerplay overs ended. With the heart of the batting - David Warner (1), Mahela Jayawardene (6) and Virender Sehwag (17) - back in the shed to leave the score reading 39 for 4 in 5.1 overs, the game was as good as over. (IPL Stats: Chennai, the first team to win 50 games)
While Warner and Sehwag fell to reckless strokes, Jayawardene went from lucky to unlucky in a matter of two deliveries. He was first squared up completely by a Chris Morris delivery as Mahendra Singh Dhoni completed a regulation catch only for the umpire to turn down the appeal, and two balls later, he was adjudged leg before to a delivery that would have comfortably missed the leg stump. When Sehwag holed out to deep midwicket off the very next delivery, the final nail in the coffin had been hammered in. From there, it was just a question of minimising the damage for Delhi, who were eventually bowled out for 83 in 17.3 overs with Mohit Sharma, the Haryana pace bowler, returning figures of 3 for 10. (Who is Mohit Sharma?)
Chennai, who were setting a target for the first time, approached the game with a sense of calm, unlike the previous matches where they had to make a late charge after the top-order had misfired. In front of another vociferous crowd on a balmy evening, they started solidly courtesy Michael Hussey (65 not out) and Suresh Raina (30), who set the platform with a 60-run second wicket stand, before Dhoni brought the roof down with a brutal assault, smashing a 23-ball 44, with the ball drilled down the ground and the trademark helicopter shot on full display. He was also assisted by some poor fielding by Ajit Agarkar, who put down a regulation catch at long-off while he was on 17. That perhaps triggered Dhoni's explosion as Chennai plundered 109 off the last 10 overs. (Watch: NDTV experts analyse Delhi's defeat)
Delhi needed Sehwag and Jayawardene to pilot the chase, but when that didn't happen, the featherweight lower middle-order was fighting a losing cause. Kedhar Jadhav (31) top-scored for the second consecutive game and in the end that was scant consolation. For Chennai, a comfortable win with none of the bowlers being challenged represented total domination as they registered their third win in five matches.