NEW DELHI: Dismal Daredevils fell to their sixth loss in as many matches this season as Chennai Super Kings whipped the basement-dwellers by 86 runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
It was the same old story for Delhi. They allowed Chennai to 169 and floundered in the chase as the big three – Virender Sehwag, David Warner and Mahela Jayawardene – tasted another collective failure.
For the Super Kings, it was business as usual as they became the first team to record a half-century of IPL victories. Mr. Cricket Michael Hussey lit up the first innings with a classy 65 and skipper MS Dhoni provided late firepower with a blistering 23-ball 44. Young Haryana medium pacer Mohit Sharma then validated Chennai's faith in him by taking out three key wickets to floor the hosts.
Sharma accounted for David Warner (played on) and Manprit Juneja (leg before) in his first over, before returning to dismiss Sehwag in the sixth over. Jayawardene had, a little before Sehwag’s exit, survived a confident appeal for caught-behind off South African all-rounder Chris Morris.
As luck would have, the Sri Lankan was dismissed next ball, trapped in front going for the flick, an eventuality that contributed to Delhi devolving to 30/4 within the first Powerplay, the chase going nowhere but south.
Jeevan Mendis, optimistically included for the match, was comically run-out, while Irfan Pathan holed out to long-on, where he was held by Dwayne Bravo off Sir Ravindra Jadeja. The rest fell in a heap, Delhi finishing on 83 in 17.3 overs, the lowest score of IPL-13.
Electing to bat, Dhoni was once again served by Chennai’s most prolific contributors, which included the skipper himself. Hussey paced his innings superbly, scoring just 24 off his first 27 balls and 41 off the next 23, including sixes off Ajit Agarkar and left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem.
The Aussie added 60 with Raina (30) before changing gears for a rapid 74-run union with Dhoni. The pinnacle of the partnership came about when the tall South African quick Morne Morkel was taken for 19. Dhoni was dropped on 17 by Agarkar at long-off and he made Delhi pay with a blistering cameo that contained five fours and a six.