Dubai: In the thriller match of IPL cricket, Delhi Capitals topped the points table by beating Chennai Super Kings by 3 wickets. Shimron Hetmeyer, the middle – order batsman, led Chennai to victory. If Krishnappa Gautam had not given up the catch given by Hetmeyer at the score of 12, Chennai would have won.
Chasing a modest target of 137, DC reached 139/7 in 19.4 overs with Shikhar Dhawan top-scoring with a 35-ball 39, while Shimron Hetmyer contributed a vital 28. Earlier, invited to bat, CSK posted 136/5 in their allotted 20 overs. Ambati Rayudu top-scored for CSK with an unbeaten 55 off 43 balls while Robin Uthappa contributed 19 runs. Both CSK and DC have already qualified for the play-offs.
Delhi won the game in the final over where they needed 6 runs to win. Kagiso Rabada (4*) hit the winning runs on the first ball that he faced after Dwayne Bravo dismissed Axar Patel (5) in the final over. Throughout the chase, Delhi kept losing wickets at regular intervals but Shikhar Dhawan (39) held one end. After Dhawan got out, Shimron Hetmyer took the attack to the opposition. Hetmyer remained not out and guided Delhi Capitals to their tenth win of the season with his quick-fire knock of 28 runs off 18 deliveries. For Chennai, Shardul Thakur was the most successful bowler with his figures of 2/13 in four overs. Ravindra Jadeja also got two wickets, while Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood, and Dwayne Bravo got one wicket apiece while defending 137 runs. Earlier, CSK managed to put up 136 runs on the board thanks to Ambati Rayudu’s (55*) half-century and a steady innings from MS Dhoni in the middle-overs. With this victory, Delhi Capitals are now on top of the points table with 20 points and booster their chances of a top-two finish. Chennai moved down to the second spot in the points tally.
Shikhar Dhawan (39) seemed to be leading Delhi easily. However, Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets apiece to beat Delhi by 6 for 99 in the 15th over. Hetmeyer got his ‘life’ in the 3rd ball of the 18th over. Hetmeyer hit a six off Josh Hazelwood in the next over to give Delhi a six-run lead in the final over. Hetmeyer doubled Bravo’s first ball. 2nd ball wide. And a run that ran. No run on re-ball. Akshar was out in the 3rd ball. However, Rabada hit a boundary off the first ball to give Delhi the lead.
With the exception of Ambati Rayudu (55 not out off 43 balls), the Delhi bowlers lost the toss and elected to bowl out Chennai for 136. Rayudu and Dhoni (18 off 27 balls) added 70 runs for Chennai for the fifth wicket.
Dhawan anchored the chase with a measured approach. He started explosively by hitting Deepak Chahar for 21 runs in one over before nudging it around as wickets kept falling at the other end.
Shardul Thakur was the star performer for the Chennai side with the ball (2/13) as the Capitals batters struggled to score off him.
With 28 needed off the last three overs, Hetmeyer hit two crucial boundaries off Dwayne Bravo in the 18th over. He was lucky with the second one as substitute fielder K. Gowtham dropped a simple catch at long-on when he was on 12. In the end, the Hetmyer’s unbeaten 28 helped the Capitals seal a place in the top two.
Earlier, CSK made a promising start as Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis struck a series of boundaries.
However, the South African perished when he hit an arm-ball from Axar straight to mid-wicket. The in-form Ruturaj soon followed, mistiming a pull off Anrich Nortje.
Chennai Super Kings: 136 for 5 in 20 overs (Ambati Rayudu 55 not out; Axar Patel 2/18).
Delhi Capitals: 139 for 7 in 19.4 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 39; Shardul Thakur 2/13, Ravindra Jadeja 2/28). PTI PDS AH AH.
Axar and Ashwin bowled tight lines, reaping the benefits whenever the batters decided to take them on.
From 62 for four in the ninth over, M.S. Dhoni and Rayudu forged a 70-run partnership for the fifth wicket but struggled to score boundaries with the skipper not finding the fence even once in his knock of 18 (27).
Rayudu began slowly but found a higher gear towards the end of the innings, hitting two sixes off Nortje and Avesh Khan to give the innings some momentum but, it was not enough.