It was yet another interesting clash as the Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals, who were playing the musical chair competition for the top spot, took on each other. Though both the teams have already qualified for the playoffs, the game was much expected because both the teams are in top form as the fight gave a prospect for both the teams to test their game and strategies as they were inching for the crucial playoffs.
Bravo and Deepak Chahar came back to the CSK side whereas Robin Uthappa got his first opportunity to play for the CSK. The Super Kings were in an imperativeness to come back to the game after conceding the defeat with the Rajasthan Royals. The match was hosted by Dubai and Rishabh Pant, the birthday boy from the Delhi Capitals, won the toss and chose to field first. As the opening batsmen of the CSK have been performing well consistently, they were expected to give a flourishing start for the side but unfortunately, yesterday was not their day.
Faf got dismissed for 10 and Ruturaj fell for 13, followed by Moeen Ali for just 5 runs. Uthappa, who was looking to be in good touch, gave up his wicket at a crucial time, for 19 and trouble began for the CSK. Dhoni came in next (much to the criticism of the netizens) and he couldn't actually get into the hitting mode at all. Dhoni is ageing and it is time for him to fix the flaws as a batsman and set his role according to that in the team. He was indeed playing a crawling game by scoring 18 runs off 27 balls.
Rayudu was the only batsman who got going and his half-century helped Chennai Super Kings to post a decent 136 runs for 5 wickets. The Delhi Capitals were the favourites when they came to bat. Prithvi Shaw and Dhawan started off well but Delhi had lost Prithvi Shaw early. Shreyas Iyer didn't stay long either. Rishabh Pant lost his wicket when he was 18. As Dhawan was in complete control, it didn't seem tough for the Delhi team to chase this score. But then, a disaster struck them.
From 93 for 3, Delhi Capitals went to 99 for 6 with the wicket of Dhawan being the sixth. All of a sudden, CSK had taken control of the game, but didn't grip it well. Only Hetmyer was the threat to the CSK and rightly so. He was dropped very early in his innings by Krishnappa Gowtham and that blunder costed the entire match for the CSK. Hetmyer stayed and chased the score for his team with a much needed 28 and the Delhi Capitals won the match by three wickets with just 2 balls to spare.
With the victory, Delhi Capitals put a break for CSK's dominance in the current season and roped the latter down to the second spot. Delhi has won the musical chair this time by climbing to the top spot with 10 victories in 13 matches. Dhoni's fleet is at the second spot by winning nine matches of 13 with two reds in the last five matches. Though Delhi and Chennai reserved a berth in the playoffs, both the team still have one more match left and they will display an unabated fight with their opponents to finishing the league with the top spot.
While CSK will be taking on Punjab Kings on Thursday, Delhi Capitals will be meeting Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday, which would be the last match of the league. With the current trend, it's likely that Chennai and Delhi will take on again in the first playoff match, which will give a direct ticket to the finals. Following the defeat yesterday, CSK skipper MS Dhoni said, "We were looking to get closer to 150. After we lost a few wickets, around the 15-16th over mark the platform was nice. We failed to accelerate".
"I thought it was a tough pitch. Anything close to 150 would have been a good score. It's a two-packed wicket. It's not like it slowed down drastically. Can't just play your shots. That's what the Delhi batters also faced. The taller bowlers were getting movement. It was a very good effort to make a game out of it. Was important not to give too many in the first six. Was one expensive over in the first six, but when quality players are batting, it can happen," Dhoni added as the fans hope that CSK would avoid hat-trick defeat while entering the playoffs.