Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni said that credit goes to Shikhar Dhawan for scoring a maiden ton in the Indian Premier League and steering Delhi Capitals to a five-wicket win.
Dhawan played a knock of 101* off 58 balls studded with 14 fours and a six. All-rounder Axar Patel’s 21 off 5 in the last over, played a crucial role in getting Delhi over the line.
Jadeja bowled the last over and conceded 22 runs off it.
Explaining his move of handing the last over to Jadeja, Dhoni told the host broadcaster Star Sports after the match,” Bravo was not fit. He went out and didn’t come back. The options were Jaddu and Karn. I went with Jaddu. Shikhar’s wicket was important but we dropped him quite a number of times. If he keeps batting, he will keep the strike rate high. Also, the wicket played better in the second half, but we can’t take the credit away from Shikhar.”
In the last two overs, Delhi Capitals needed 21 runs but Sam Curran bowled brilliantly and gave away just four runs. However, a final over cameo by Axar which saw him whacking three sixes helped Delhi Capitals chase the target with one ball to spare Dhawan had also survived a scare on 99 in the penultimate over.
The on-field umpire gave him out but he went for a review straight away and the replay confirmed that there was no edge.
Dhoni said that the wicket played better in the second innings and there was enough dew to make the pitch better.
“There wasn’t a lot of dew, but there was just enough to make the pitch better. That makes a big difference: minus 10 when you are batting, and the extra 10 for the team batting second. A positive was Sam’s last over. He needs to be convinced that he can execute outside off yorkers, that is something most of the coaching staff want the bowlers to bowl,” Dhoni said.
“If you are not comfortable doing it, you can’t really push in the game. I feel this game will give him a lot of confidence when it comes to executing outside off yorkers, I feel that will be one delivery that is slightly difficult to hit,” the wicket-keeper added.
With this win, the Shreyas Iyer led side has regained the top position in the points table with 14 points.
Chasing 180 runs, Delhi Capitals got off to the worst possible start as Prithvi Shaw chipped the ball straight back to Deepak Chahar in the very first over.
Ajinkya Rahane then joined Shikhar Dhawan in the middle but their partnership didn’t flourish as Sam Curran took an exceptional catch at point and Rahane had to walk back to the pavilion in the fifth over.
Skipper Shreyas Iyer and Dhawan then rebuilt the innings with the latter smashing 40th IPL half-century. Dhawan whacked the ball all around the park for fours.
However, Dwayne Bravo dismissed Delhi Capitals’ skipper to put a brake at the peddle in the 12th over. Meanwhile, Dhawan continued his fine form and smashed boundaries at regular intervals.
With 71 needed in the last seven overs, Marcus Stonis and Dhawan accelerated to bring down the ever-mounting required rate. Stonis smashed 24 runs off 14 balls before getting out in the 16th over.
Delhi Capitals required 41 runs in the last four overs and Dhawan started his onslaught and the equation came down to 21 runs off the last two overs with Delhi finally getting over the line.
Earlier after opting to bat first, Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja’s knocks powered CSK to 179/4 in their 20 overs.
CSK will now lock horns against Rajasthan Royals at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday, October 19.