For the second time in succession, CSK left themselves with too much to do in the run chase. MS Dhoni walked in to bat in the 16th over when 78 were needed off 26 balls. He was dismissed for 15 off 12 balls in the final over. Clearly, CSK need Dhoni to do more with the bat in the coming games.
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Unlike the CSK spinners who disappointed once again, the DC tweakers – Axar and Amit Mishra – stood up to the occasion and stifled the opposition batsmen. In eight overs between them, they conceded only 41 runs for one wicket.
CSK’s opening partnership continued to be a problem on Friday. Both Shane Watson (14) and M Vijay (10) fell within the Powerplay as CSK limped to 34/2 after six overs. Watson inexplicably fell to Axar Patel for the sixth time in his career. It soon became worse for CSK when the inexperienced Ruturaj Gaikwad was run out for 5 to give DC their third wicket.
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At 47/3 in 10 overs, CSK were in desperate need to bring the asking rate down. While they got a few boundaries away in the latter half, it wasn’t good enough.
It was Shaw who set up the platform for Delhi with a blistering knock. And yet, CSK had managed to pull things back in the final 10 overs. After conceding 88/0 in the first 10 overs, after all, only 87 runs were given away in the final 10.
While Rishabh Pant finished unbeaten on 37 off 25 balls, skipper Shreyas Iyer managed just 26 off 22 balls. Marcus Stoinis, who hit 53 in the previous game for Delhi, faced just three balls. For CSK, seamers Sam Curran (4-0-27-1) and Josh Hazlewood (4-0-28-0) were the pick of the bowlers.
CSK did not take any wickets in the opening six overs, but they kept the run rate under control as DC reached 36/0. Once the fielding restrictions eased, though, the DC openers opened their shoulders. While Shaw took a liking to Piyush Chawla and hit some delightful boundaries through the off-side, Dhawan did not let Ravindra Jadeja settle.
Dhoni’s move, however, to keep his spinners on was rewarded with the wickets of Dhawan and Shaw in quick succession. It was Chawla who removed both the openers, finding redemption as he finished with figures of 4-0-33-2.
Regardless, the spinners’ form seems to be a matter of concern for CSK. Both Jadeja and Chawla were guilty of bowling too short on occasions and allowing Shaw in particular to punish them with the cut shot.
Shaw did have a lucky break on just the second ball of the innings. Shaw got an inside edge through to Dhoni off an away swinger by Chahar. CSK chose to not appeal, but replays showed that there was a slight edge. If Shaw had been given out then, things could well have been far easier for the men in yellow.