On a consistent basis, the pitches in the United Arab Emirates this season have been dual in nature. This has hampered the captains decisions at the toss, and match 50 between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings was also an example. Even in the previous match at Dubai International stadium, Kane Williamson felt it was a good wicket to bat on, but it turned out to be the opposite.
Batting first, Chennai lost their prolific opening duo of Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad inside the powerplay. Robin Uthappa who made his debut for Chennai in the IPL, failed to make an impact as he miscued one against his nemesis, Ravichandran Ashwin. Dhoni promoted himself up the order in search of some runs. He got it, but the rustiness was written all over his innings. Ambati Rayudu at one end led a lone battle with an unbeaten knock of 55 from 43 deliveries. Chennai managed to post a total of 136 in their full quota of 20 overs.
In reply, Prithvi Shaw started off explosively but for a short time. Shreyas Iyer also departed early as he found himself in a tangle and top edged one to cover off Josh Hazlewood. Shikhar Dhawan in the fifth over teed off by scoring 21 runs. However, that was the last of Dhawan’s attacking instincts. As said earlier, the dual nature of the pitch made it difficult for the Delhi batsmen. Everyone tried their best including the birthday boy and the Delhi skipper Rishabh. But, Shimron Hetmyer at the end, with the help of Chennai fielders – Krishnappa Gowtham – played a breezy knock to propel Delhi to the top of the table. Here are some of the notable stats from the match:
Flying start by CSK
The first over of the match produced plenty of drama as opener Gaikwad and Anrich Nortje started the proceedings. After beginning with a peach of a delivery, the South African bowled a wide down the leg-side to concede five runs. Gaikwad followed it up with a boundary and a couple. By conceding a boundary through leg-byes, Chennai had 16 runs in the first over. In the 2015 edition against the Kolkata Knight Riders, 19 runs had come in the first over, which is the most for Chennai in the IPL. Chennai’s score of 16 in this innings is the second joint most runs for them in the opening over of the innings. The other two were against Delhi in 2015 and against Kolkata in 2018.
Playing for the first time in IPL 2021 and for Chennai, Robin Uthappa started the innings steadily. However, the right-handed batter was dismissed for a run-a-ball 19 and once again it was Ravichandran Ashwin. Over the years of the IPL, Ashwin has been Uthappa’s kryptonite. The off-spinner has gotten the better of Uthappa on seven instances, which is the most dismissals for a batter against a bowler in the IPL. Rohit Sharma and his struggles with spin is evident as he features twice with seven dismissals against Amit Mishra and Sunil Narine. Virat Kohli against Sandeep Sharma and Dhoni against Zaheer Khan complete the list.
A dawdling innings
With the team tottering at 62/4, Dhoni walked in at number six to steady the innings. While he was involved in a 70-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Ambati Rayudu, Dhoni struggled with his timing and managed to score 18 off 27 deliveries at a strike rate of 66.7, which is his slowest innings after batting for 25+ balls in the IPL. His innings involved zero boundaries. This was the second time in his IPL career where Dhoni batted for 25+ balls and didn’t hit a boundary. In addition to his agonies, he is the only captain to feature twice in the list of boundaryless innings after playing 25+ balls in an innings in the IPL.
Deepak Chahar taken to the cleaners
One of the finest powerplay bowlers Deepak Chahar, had to endure a thrashing after picking up the wicket of Shaw in the third over. Dhawan, who has been magnificent against Chennai in IPL since 2020, smashed Chahar for 21 runs in the fifth over. A six off the first and the fourth ball sandwiched by two fours and single off the last ball, the fifth over read. This was the second instance of Chahar conceding 20+ runs in an over in his IPL career. His highest came against Punjab Kings in 2018 when he conceded 22 runs in the sixth over. Chris Gayle smashed 20 off those after KL Rahul took a single off the first ball and another run came through a wide.
Delhi etch a special feat
With a win against Chennai in both the league stage matches this season, Delhi for the second time in consecutive years have beaten Chennai in both their league matches. They became the second team to beat the Chennai franchise in both the league matches in consecutive seasons after Mumbai Indians in 2012 and 2013.
To emboss more, this season, they beat both Mumbai and Chennai in both their league matches. By doing so, Delhi became the first ever team to beat both Mumbai and Chennai twice in the league stages in the same season of the IPL.