Morkel removed two of Chennai’s most dangerous batsmen
South African pace bowler, Morne Morkel, led Delhi to a huge win over the Chennai Super Kings, who are the reigning champions coming into this year’s IPL.
Morkel’s extremely economical bowling spell, and wickets of Francois du Plessis and Chennai captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, changed the course of the match in Delhi’s favour.
After a short delay due to a technical issue with the lighting, the two captains, Virender Sehwag and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, walked out to the middle for the toss.
Sehwag, won the toss and chose to bowl first, stating that he would rather chase a target down after restricting the Super Kings to as low a total as possible.
Sehwag was talking through the game plan with his team, as the Chennai openers, Francois du Plessis and Murali Vijay walked out to the middle.
Delhi, could not have asked for a better start, as they got a wicket off the first ball of the innings, when du Plessis tapped a ball into the leg side and called Vijay through for a quick single, however when Vijay was already three quarters of the way down the pitch, du Plessis sent him back, but it was too late, and Vijay had to go back to the pavilion without even facing a delivery.
Du Plessis and new batsman, Suresh Raina, patched up the early damage Delhi had done with a quick 26 run partnership, at a run rate of 8.66, before, du Plessis was caught by Roelof van der Merwe at extra cover, when trying to loft the ball over his head.
Just seventeen runs later, Chennai lost another wicket, as this time, it was Suresh Raina who was run out, when he hit a delivery into the point region where Yogesh Nagar picked up the ball and threw it back to wicketkeeper, Naman Ojha, who whipped the bails off in a flash, as Raina was short of his crease.
Ravindra Jadeja and Subramaniam Badrinath made a quick 21 runs together, before Badrinath was the third Chennai batsman to be run out, as he flicked a delivery off his hip into the short fine leg area, where Kevin Pietersen charged in and threw the ball to Ojha, who completed the rest of the job.
Four deliveries later, Jadeja was the next batsman to depart, when he got a thick edge off a shot he was trying to place over point, which was brilliantly taken by Naman Ojha.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo, slowly and steadily amassed a 23 run partnership, before Morkel got the prize wicket of Dhoni, who was looking to clear the boundary with a lofted drive, but ended up hitting the ball straight to Mahela Jayawardene at long-on.
Bravo fell just eleven runs later, as he was clean bowled by Umesh Yadav, after trying to smack a delivery into the stands.
Things continued to get worse for Chennai, as five balls later, Ashwin was the fourth batsman to be run out, when he pulled a delivery to short midwicket, where Irfan Pathan mis-fielded the ball and ended up missing the stumps at the non-striker’s end, which sparked a second run to be called by Ashwin, who was found to be yards out of his crease when captain Virender Sehwag threw the ball to Naman Ojha.
Albie Morkel and Shadab Jakati could only manage two runs off the last three balls of the innings, and thus Chennai finished on 110 for the fall of eight wickets.
Morne Morkel’s two wickets for just 19 runs was absolutely outstanding, and he was well supported by Irfan Pathan and Umesh Yadav, who both picked a wicket each, as the fielders did the rest with four run outs.
Morkel, was an obvious choice for the Man of the Match award, and said: “It was a home game for us and we got off to a good start. The groundsman have to be complimented for putting up a good wicket. I was under pressure to bowl to a power house of Chennai’s batting line-up.”
Facing an extremely simple task of getting 111 runs to win, the Delhi openers, Virender Sehwag and Naman Ohja, got things off to a solid start with a 32 run partnership, at a run rate of 8.72.
Ohja, was then run out as he tried to take two runs after hitting the ball to the sweeper cover region, where Francois du Plessis fired in a beaut of a throw to Ravichandran Ashwin, who finished off the job.
Eighteen runs later, Sehwag was on his way back to the pavilion, after skiing a delivery straight to Murali Vijay at backward square leg, bringing an end to his innings on 33 runs from just 21 balls, during which he smashed four boundaries and a six for good measure.
Kevin Pietersen and Mahela Jayawardene, who were both foes when playing against each other for their national teams before the IPL, worked together to build up a solid partnership.
Pietersen and Jayawardene, kept the runs flowing at a fiery rate, as they thumped boundaries here and there, which brought Delhi ever closer to their target.
The pair registered their fifty partnership in no time, as Chennai captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, knew that there was nothing he could do to bring his side back into the match.
Delhi, won the game in the 14th over, and handed Chennai a brutal eight wicket loss.
Ravichandran Ashwin, was the only bowler to take a wicket, as the rest of the bowling attack were hammered all over the ground by the Delhi batsmen.
Chennai captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was extremely disappointed with his team’s batting display, and said: “We posted a below par score. The wicket behaved well in the second half. We were looking to have a left and right hand combination but the run-outs never let us get that right. We have to be more consistent and look to play good cricket.”
Delhi captain, Virender Sehwag, on the other hand, was thrilled to see how dangerous his team could be, and said: “Bowlers started off really well upfront and the left arm spinners took off from there. We’ve international class which has been boosted by the return of KP and Mahela. As a result of that, I can play freely.”
With Delhi registering a very comfortable win against the Super Kings, they will be hoping to be as dominant when they go up against the Mumbai Indians on April 16.
Chennai, meanwhile, will be looking to put this bad loss behind them and regroup as a team when they play against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 12.