Published: Wed, May 02, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

IPL: Watson, Dhoni star as Chennai beat Delhi

IPL: Watson, Dhoni star as Chennai beat Delhi

The Chennai Super Kings regained their place at the top of the VIVO IPL 2018 standings after they defeated the Delhi Daredevils by 13 runs at the MCA International Stadium in Pune on Monday night.

Shankar, Maxwell and Mishra picked up a wicket each for Delhi.

Shane Watson smacked 78 runs in a Chennai Super Kings victory over the Delhi Daredevils overnight but it could have been - and perhaps should have been - all over after the first ball. While CSK on the other hand, made four changes as they played KM Asif, Faf du Plessis, Lungi Ngidi and Karn Sharma. Munro, who took seven balls to get off the mark, would then take Asif for two fours and a six in his second over, was beaten for pace as he mistimed a pull to deep midwicket in the fifth over. He went on to score 78 runs off 40 balls that included seven sixes and four fours.

CSK got to a mammoth 211 batting first after DD skipper Shreyas Iyer won the toss and elected to field. The visitors still managed to put up a fight, courtesy Rishabh Pant, who scored 79 off 45 balls (aided with 7 fours & 4 sixes), and Vijay Shankar, who remained unbeaten on 54, made from 31 balls (1 four & 5 sixes). "He has got such a big arch and if you want to bowl wide he can still hit you to the leg side", Du Plessis said at the post-match press conference. The England fast bowler was smashed for back-to-back sixes in two consecutive overs that went for 35 as Watson raised a 25-ball half-century in the ninth over; only one of his 15 previous half-centuries came at a faster clip.

Delhi's hopes were fading and looked as good as over when Ravindra Jadeja bowled Maxwell (6) in the ninth.

There was drama from the first ball of the innings as a Trent Boult peach had Shane Watson trapped but the umpire said no. Delhi were confident and went for the review, but lost it with the innings to go as there was no conclusive evidence. Rayudu, who was demoted to fourth spot, initially gave the strike to Dhoni and the Ranchi stumper milked the bowlers. Soon Rayudu also joined the party. He could have had the wicket of Dhoni but Colin Munro dropped him at mid-wicket in the 19th over.

Iyer was the star of the show in his first game as skipper with a magnificent 93 against KKR, but he was run out for only 13 and Delhi were 74-4 when Glenn Maxwell fell cheaply. His innings, along with Ambati Rayudu's 41 from 24, took the game well beyond Delhi's grasp. Dhoni has been in fantastic form during this year's IPL and once again showed just how valuable he can be.

Delhi medium pacers Boult, Shankar and Plunkett proved expensive.

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