Prithvi Shaw plays a shot during the match against Chennai Super Kings on Saturday.
Captain Rishabh Pant won the battle of wicketkeepers as Delhi Capitals trumped the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League on Saturday.
Delhi rode on a 138-run opening stand between Shikhar Dhawan (85) and Prithvi Shaw (72) to chase down their target of 189 with eight balls and seven wickets to spare in Mumbai.
The 14th edition of the popular Twenty20 tournament is being played behind closed doors with the country witnessing a surge in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 23-year-old Pant, who was once an understudy to Dhoni and has now cemented his role as India's premier wicketkeeper, hit the winning runs in his first outing as T20 captain.
"It was good, once you win the match everything is good," Pant said after the win. "In the middle, I was under pressure, but good job from Avesh (Khan) and the bowlers." On walking out to toss with Dhoni, Pant said, "Actually, it was special for me captaining in the IPL and toss with MS. I have learnt from him and he's my go-to man. Good feeling."
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Returning Chennai batsman Suresh Raina, who left the team due to personal reasons ahead of last year's edition in the United Arab Emirates, top-scored with 54 as Chennai posted 188-7 after being put into bat first.
Dhoni was bowled for a second-ball duck but England players Moeen Ali (36) and Sam Curran (34) contributed with the bat for three-time champions Chennai.
Fast bowlers Chris Woakes and Avesh Khan claimed two wickets each.
The 21-year-old Shaw, likened to Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar, exploded for last year's runners-up Delhi to extend his red hot form.
Shaw, who made 72, recently topped the batting chart in India's 50-over domestic competition with 827 runs in 8 matches for winners Mumbai.
Shaw, who survived two dropped catches, finally fell to Dwayne Bravo after hitting nine fours and three sixes in his 38-ball blitz.
Dhawan departed after smashing 10 boundaries and two over the fence hits in his 54-ball knock.
Pant, who was named captain after regular skipper Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of this IPL season with a shoulder injury, hit an unbeaten 15.
"He kept his calm and will only get better with time," man of the match Dhawan said of his young captain.
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The Chennai Super Kings skipper, who will turn 41 in July this year, even did not rule out turning out in IPL 2024 too, saying 'you can't predict what will happen two years down the line."
"MS Dhoni has decided to hand over the leadership of Chennai Super Kings and picked Ravindra Jadeja to lead the team. Dhoni will continue to represent Chennai Super Kings this season and beyond," said a statement from the franchise.
Dhoni retired from international cricket in 2020 but had stepped down as T20I captain in January 2017. He captained the Indian team in a total of 72 T20Is, winning 41 of these and losing 28.
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Mumbai Indians, armed with big-money signing Cameron Green, will bid for a record-extending sixth title when the Indian Premier League (IPL) starts on Friday, in what could be Chennai veteran MS Dhoni’s swansong. The 16th edition also returns to its pre-Covid glory days, with 74 matches scheduled at 12 venues over eight