Suresh Raina on way to his 56, on Monday
Abu Dhabi: Chennai Super Kings produced a clinical performance to crush Delhi DareDevils by 93 runs and register their first win in the seventh edition of Indian Premier League here on Monday.
Chennai first rode on Man of the Match Suresh Raina’s fine half-century and a late burst from captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to post a competitive 177/7 and then came up with a disciplined bowling and fielding effort to bundle out the DareDevils for a paltry 84 in 15.4 overs.
Raina made 56 off 41 balls during which he struck five boundaries and one six. He shared 54 runs for the second wicket with Dwayne Smith, to lay the foundation of their innings.
Towards the end, Dhoni used his long handle to great effect to race his way to 32 off just 15 balls with the help of two fours and as many sixes. Faf du Plessis also made a useful 24 off 17 balls.
The DareDevils started their chase on a nightmarish note as they lost half of their side with just 50 runs on board in the 10th over. They never really looked like settling down as wickets kept falling.
Young Ishwar Pandey impressed on his IPL debut. He struck the first blow for Chennai in only his second over, by removing Mayank Agarwal. Agarwal was brilliantly caught by Raina, who ran towards cover to take the catch.
Murali Vijay (11) and Manoj Tiwary too did not help their side’s cause as they departed in the next two overs.
While Du Plessis pulled off a stunner to sent Vijay packing off Mohit Sharma’s bowling, the South African pounced on another skier in Pandey’s next over to remove Tiwary.
Skipper Dinesh Karthik (21) and J P Duminy (15) tried to resurrect the DareDevils’ chase with a 25-run stand for the fourth wicket, but the wickets tumbled like dominoes.
Duminy was caught plumb in front of the wicket by Dwayne Smith off his first ball, before Ben Hilfenhaus induced an edge from an out-of-form Ross Taylor, which was gleefully accepted by Dhoni.
Karthik was then sent back marching to the pavilion by Ashwin in the 13th over. Jimmy Neesham (21 off 15) tried hard but the asking rate was too tall by then.
The Chennai bowlers wiped off the Delhi tail with little difficulty. Ashwin (2/3), Jadeja (2/18) and Pandey (2/23) shared six Delhi wickets between them.
The DareDevils were further hamstrung by the injury to Nathan Coulter-Nile, who hobbled off the field in the very first over of the game, playing no part thereafter.
Earlier, Chennai made a relatively quiet start to their innings after electing to bat as they scored their 50-run mark off exactly the same number of balls.
Chennai, however, suffered their first blow in the fourth over in the form of dangerous Brendon McCullum (9).
The hard-hitting New Zealander failed to build on the life provided by Duminy off Jaydev Unadkat’s first delivery and perished in the next ball, caught by substitute Wayne Parnell at short third man.
After McCullum’s dismissal, Raina and Smith played cautiously to draft the innings and help Chennai 65 runs for the loss of one wicket at the halfway mark.
After taking a measure of the wicket, Raina finally opened up and clobbered left-arm spinner Shabaz Nadeem straight over his head for the first six of the innings.
For Delhi, Unadkat picked up three wickets. But pace spearhead Mohammed Shami proved to be expensive, giving away 45 runs in his four overs and getting only one wicket.