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Chennai Super Kings players celebrate after winning the Indian Premier League match against Delhi Capitals on Wednesday. Image Credit: AFP

Chennai: The 27-run win against Delhi Capitals took Chennai Super Kings to 15 points, moving them one point adrift of table-toppers Gujarat Titans, but what was more pleasing for Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the fact that his key allrounders Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali got the chance to be in the middle for a longer duration in this Indian Premier League season.

Jadeja faced 16 deliveries in the middle and scored 21 runs while Moeen Ali batted at No. 3 and faced 12 balls, scoring 12 runs as Chennai Super Kings rode on crucial contributions by Shivam Dube (25) and Ambati Rayudu (23) and a final flourish by Dhoni (20 off 9) to post 167 for eight. Both usually do not get to face a lot of deliveries as they come down the order.

Jadeja (1-19 off 4) and Moeen Ali (0-16 off 4) stifled the opposition in the middle overs even as Matheesha Parthirana (3-37) and Deepak Chahar (2-28) restricted the Delhi Capitals 140/8 in 20 overs and helped the hosts to a 27-run win on Wednesday night. Jadeja was adjudged player of the match for his allround effort.

Dhoni said Jadeja and Ali getting to face a few deliveries in the middle was a good thing going into the final phase of the preliminary league of IPL 2023.

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Sri Lankan pacer Matheesha Pathirana, dubbed as Baby Malinga, claimed three wickets against Delhi Capitals. Image Credit: Source: IPL Twitter

“Good thing is, Moeen and Jaddu got to bat. As we get closer to the last phase, everyone has a few deliveries under their belt. We need to be happy with our batting,” said Dhoni on Wednesday during the post-match presentation ceremony.

Best deliveries

Dhoni said his spinners got a lot of help as the pitch turned more in the second half. “It turned more in the second half. Our spinners use a lot more seam than some of the other bowlers. We did not know what’s a par score. That’s why I wanted the bowlers to bowl their best deliveries but not look for wickets every delivery. That’s when you start not bowling well. I felt 166-170 was a good score,” said Dhoni.

Chennai now have two more matches remaining in the preliminary round — the first at MA Chidambaram Stadium against Kolkata Knight Riders and the return clash with Delhi Capitals at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.