Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
The Chennai Super Kings faced little difficulty during their emphatic 93-run win over the Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi.
India batsman Suresh Raina was the standout performer with the bat as he scored a brilliant half-century, while all the bowlers chipped in with at least one wicket.
Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have been brooding over his decision to bat first after New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum was caught by Wayne Parnell, who was the substitute fielder, at short third man off the bowling of Jaydev Unadkat for nine runs.
West Indies batsman Dwayne Smith and Raina made up for the early loss of McCullum with a 54-run partnership before Smith was clean bowled by Shahbaz Nadeem for 29.
Raina went on to bring up his half-century, but failed to convert it into a bigger score as he was caught by Murali Vijay at long-on off the bowling of James Neesham.
Raina’s fantastic knock of 56 came off 41 balls and included five boundaries and a six.
South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis managed to score 24 runs before he was caught by Vijay at long-on off the bowling of Mohammed Shami.
Dhoni scored a quickfire 32 before he was caught by Mayank Agarwal at deep square leg off the bowling of Unadkat.
Chennai eventually finished on 177/7 off their 20 overs.
Unadkat was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Shami, Nadeem and Neesham claimed one wicket each.
Chasing 178 to win, the Daredevils lost their top three batsmen for just 17 runs.
Jean Paul (JP) Duminy managed to make 15 runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Smith.
Ross Taylor only made six runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Ben Hilfenhaus.
Delhi stand-in captain Dinesh Karthik scored 21 runs before he was clean bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin.
Following Karthik’s dismissal, the Daredevils’ lower order completely collapsed as they went from 74/6 to 84 all out.
Australia pace bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile did not bat for Delhi since he pulled his hamstring when he dived to stop the ball while fielding.
Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Ishwar Pandey picked up two wickets apiece, while Hilfenhaus, Smith and Mohit Sharma bagged one wicket each.
Karthik was disgusted with his team’s performance, and said: “Coulter-Nile will be out for some time, pulled his hamstring. To have lost him that early was a blow for us. The target was gettable if we batted better, the ball was seaming. Under the lights it was doing a bit more. I would have batted second anyway had I won the toss.”
Dhoni was impressed with the thrashing his side handed out, and said: “Complete performance. Catches win matches. This was a perfect game for us, bit of help for fast bowlers. Seven batsmen should be good enough. We had a day off and fielding is something we always emphasise on and it can be a benchmark for forthcoming games.”
Raina was named Man of the Match, and said: “We bowled really well. We won because of the fielding. I looked to be positive till the last ball. The pitch was doing something. The new ball does do more under lights. I think Ishwar Pandey won us the game today. I’ve managed to play so many games for CSK because of my fitness as it is very hot in Chennai so you need to keep fit.”