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On a difficult wicket, Delhi Daredevils got the better of Chennai Super Kings, recording a convincing 34-run in an Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Feroz Shah Kolta on Friday night. Chasing 163, CSK managed 128/6 with DD putting up a solid defence on their home turf to ensure Chennai will have to wait more to ensure a top-two finish.

Like DD, CSK’s innings also began on a slow note with the opening pair of Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu being kept quiet for the better part of the Powerplay overs before the latter exploded in the sixth over, smoking pacer Avesh Khan for three sixes and a four. He continued his excellent form to hit a 28-ball half-century before holing out on 50 off Harshal Patel.

His departure put brakes on the scoring-rate as Delhi spinners, led by Amit Mishra, tightened the screws in the middle overs. The quick dismissals of Suresh Raina (15) and Sam Billings (1) meant the responsibility fell squarely on captain MS Dhoni’s shoulders. However, it wasn’t meant to be one of those finishes which Dhoni, who received quite a reception from the away fans, has come to known for. He was out in the 18th over, bowled by Trent Boult, after scoring 17. And scoring 50 from the final two overs proved too much a task for the pair of Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo.

Mishra finished with figures of 2/20 from his fours overs while Harshal chipped in with 1/23.
Earlier, allrounders Vijay Shankar and Harshal scripted DD’s recovery after a pedestrian performance from the top-order, helping the hosts reach a respectable total after being sent in to bat.

Lungi Ngidi (2/14) broke the backbone of Delhi batting by removing skipper Shreyas Iyer (19 off 22) and top run-getter Rishabh Pant (38 off 26) in the 11th over.

Vijay Shankar (36 no off 28) and Harshal (36 no off 16) lent some respectability to the total with an unbeaten 65-run stand off 32 balls.

The final flourish included a 26-run final over where Bravo was hammered for four sixes.

It was an inconsequential game but a sizable number of Dhoni fans blended with the home team’s supporters to make it a packed house. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers chased down 180 plus target with ease in the previous two games at Kotla and expectedly, Dhoni had no hesitation in bowling first. Delhi were sluggish at the start, mustering just 39 runs in six-over Powerplay.

Prithvi Shaw (17 off 17) was out cheaply for the third game in a row after he played a loose stroke to be caught near mid-on. Iyer opened the innings with Shaw in Jason Roy’s absence and DD skipper’s innings too was a shaky one.

The captain shared a 54-run stand for the second wicket with the in-form Pant but the South African pacer Ngidi removed both in the same over to leave Delhi at 81/3.

Iyer was bowled while making room for a cut while Pant’s mistimed hit aimed over midwicket, was pouched at third man.
Delhi had lost two of their main batsmen shortly after Pant punished veteran Harbhajan Singh for two sixes and a four in the 10th over, which resulted in 17 runs. The momentum the Delhi innings picked up from that Harbhajan over but it did not last long. Glenn Maxwell’s disastrous run continued when he saw his stumps disturbed after attempting a reverse sweep off Jadeja.

Playing for pride after another sorry season, Delhi batsmen completely looked out of sorts before Shankar and Harshal joined forces to take 60 runs from the final five overs.

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