Delhi Capitals' Shikhar Dhawan plays a shot during their match against Chennai Super Kings at Sharjah Stadium in Sharjah on Saturday. Courtesy: IPL Website
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
Shikhar Dhawan scored a quick-fire century to steer Delhi Capitals (DC) to a five-wicket win against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Sharjah on Saturday.
With the victory, Delhi regained the top spot. They have 14 points in their kitty from nine games with seven wins.
After restricting Chennai to 179/4, Delhi knocked down the winning run on the penultimate ball off the match. Delhi needed 17 off the last over.
Dhawan could take a single off the first ball which brought Axar Patel on strike. Still needing 15 off the last five deliveries and a new batsman on the strike, Chennai started fancying their chances of pulling off a thrilling win.
Patel held his nerves and hit Jadeja for two consecutive sixes to bring the equation down to three off three. He took a couple before finishing the game in style with a six off the penultimate delivery.
Chasing a fighting total, Delhi got off to a stuttering start as Deepak Chahar caught Prithvi Shaw off his own bowling to push Delhi on the back foot from the word go.
This was the second consecutive golden duck for Shaw. In their last match against Rajasthan Royals, Jofra Archer had rattled the stumps of the left-handed batsman off the very first delivery of the innings.
Chahar struck again in the fifth over to get rid of Ajinkya Rahane. Delhi were in deep trouble and needed someone to play a sheet anchor’s role. Dhawan stepped up and took the charge in hands. He added 68 runs with Shreyas Iyer for the third wicket. The duo took the score to 94/3 in 11.3 overs.
Despite wickets kept falling on one end, Dhawan was rock solid with a steely resolute and waging the war single-handedly.
After the departure of Iyer, he shared another 43-run stand with Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who scored 14-ball 24 before Patel joined him in the middle to seals another win for Delhi.
Dhawan, who remained unbeaten on 101, hit 10 fours and one six during his stint at the crease.
Earlier, Faf du Plessis and Sahne Watson anchored the innings with a 87-run partnership for the second wicket after Sam Curran was dismissed for a golden duck as Chennai too had gotten off a similar start.
It was Deshpande, who gave Delhi the first breakthrough by getting rid of the opener Curran, who was caught by Anrich Nortje.
Du Plessis rose to the third rank in the list of highest scorers behind the Kings XI Punjab duo of Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul, with the fourth fifty of the season. He has already amassed 365 runs in nine innings with the help of four fifty.
Nortje rattled the stumps of Watson, who scored 28-ball 36 with the help of six boundaries, to give Chennai second jolt.
Du Plessis brought up his fifty with a single off 39 deliveries. He was dropped by Dhawan when on 51. But he failed to capitalize on the chance and could add just seven more runs to before being caught by Dhawan off Rabada After his dismissal, Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja combined to score 50 runs off the last 21 balls to take the score to 179/4.
Jadeja and Rayudu swung the momentum CSK’s way with their fifth wicket stand. Both the bastmen were hitting spree. Jadeja was more brutal of the two as he smacked a quick-fire 33 off 13 deliveries, smashing four sixes while Rayudu scored 25-ball 45. His innings was studded with four over the fence and one boundary.
Prithvi hit nine boundaries and one six during his stint at the crease. He was well supported by Shikhar Dhawan (33).
DC now have 10 points in their kitty while RR sit at the seventh place in the eight team standings with just four points.
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