Dubai: Rejuvenated by the return of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings thrashed Delhi Capitals by 80 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Imran Tahir produced a deadly spell of 4 for 12 to bowl out Delhi Capitals for a paltry 99 runs in 16.2 overs well backed by Ravindra Jadeja with three wickets for nine runs.
Chennai had lost to Mumbai Indians in the absence of Dhoni but looked a formidable side against Delhi for the start.
Riding on Suresh Raina’s 59 runs and Dhoni’s unbeaten 44, Chennai posted an impressive 179 for 4 in 20 overs.
Except for Delhi skipper Shreyas Iyer, who hit 44 runs, none of the other batsmen rose to the challenge. In fact, except for Iyer and Shikhar Dhawan (19) other batsmen did not even cross the double figures.
The battle of the top two teams in the IPL table began with Delhi winning the toss and electing to bowl.
Opener Shane Watson fell for a duck after a nine-ball stay, hitting left-arm spinner Jagadeesha Suchith straight to Axar Patel at deep mid-wicket in the fourth over.
Suresh Raina joined opener Faf Du Plessis and together they put on 83 runs in the next 10.1 overs. The pair played some brilliant shots and found the gaps repeatedly.
Axar Patel ended the partnership inviting Du Plessis to hit him high. The previous ball Du Plessis had hit Patel over the sightscreen.
Du Plessis’s catch was taken by Dhawan judging at correctly at long off. His 39 runs came off 41 balls with two boundaries and two sixes.
The crowd cheered for Dhoni , who did not play the last match due to fever. He began to stroke smoothly but Raina, who in the 15th over had hit Suchith for two fours and a six, perished reading the flight wrong and hitting to Dhawan for 59.
Next man Ravindra Jadeja began by hitting Patel for a six. Dhoni accelerated the run rate through some well-timed shots. Jadeja fell in the 19th over getting caught and bowled by Chris Morris for a valuable 25 runs off 10 balls with two boundaries and two sixes.
The last over, was a battle between Dhoni and Trent Boult. Dhoni hit him for a four off the third ball and then hit the last two balls of the innings for sixes to take 21 runs off that over and remain unbeaten on 44 off 22 balls.
Delhi got off to a bad start with opener Prithvi Shaw falling to the fifth ball of the first over from Deepak Chahar. Shaw played into the hands of Raina at cover point for 4. In sixth over, Harbhajan Singh clean bowled Dhawan on 19 when he went for a sweep and missed it.
Imran Tahir picked his first wicket of the day when he had Pant caught by Dwayne Bravo at long-off for just five runs. Jadeja too struck in the eighth over by trapping Colin Ingram leg before for 1.
Tahir struck again by forcing Patel to play into the hands of Watson at first slip.
Half the side back the pavilion at the half way mark with the score reading only 80 runs, defeat began to stare on them. When Tahir too removed Sherfane Rutherford with a googly that forced him to edge to backward point for 2, Chennai took a firm grip.
The 12th over saw Dhoni produce two brilliant stumping. Moris got stumped off Jadeja for a duck and also of skipper Shreyas Iyer, who played a fighting knock of 44 runs off 31 balls.
Chennai Super Kings bt Delhi Capitals by 80 runs.
Chennai 179 for 4 in 20 overs (Faf Du Plessis 39, Suresh Raina 59, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 44n.o, Ravindra Jadeja 25, Jagadeesha Suchith 2 for 28) Delhi 99 in 16.2 overs (Shreyas Iyer 44, Imran Tahir 4 for 12, Ravindra Jadeja 3 for 9).