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The MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk once a fortress for the Chennai Super Kings has been under serious seige all summer. In an effort to rectify that anomaly the Chennai Super Kings decided to field first on winning the toss against the table topping Delhi Daredevils. The decision paid off handsomely as the Super Kings routed the Delhi top order, reducing them to 24/4 inside 6 overs with Ben Hilfenhaus picking up 3 quick wickets. Delhi never really recovered from the early debacle, and posted a paltry 114/5 in their 20 overs. Chennai made quick work of the target, getting to it in just 15.2 overs courtesy some handy contributions from Murali Vijay (48), Michael Hussey (38) and Suresh Raina (28). The win keeps Chennai in the race for 4th place, while Delhi continue to be top of the table courtesy of Kolkata's loss earlier in the day.
Chennai made just one change to the side that stunned the Rajasthan Royals in their last game, bringing back Shadab Jakati for the impressive Yo Mahesh. The Delhi Daredevils also made a few changes, the most notable being giving Roelof van der Merwe a rare game on a surface that was likely to offer him some support.
The match though swung dramatically in favour of the home side in the powerplay with Chennai decimating the Delhi top order to leave them struggling at 27/4 after 6 overs. Ben Hilfenhaus was the wrecker-in-chief once again, taking the wickets of Sehwag, Warner and Naman Ojha in his first 3 overs. Albie Morkel chipped in by dismissing Mahela Jayawardene, and Delhi's visit already looked like a disaster.
Sehwag was bowled in the very first over for 4, cleaned up by a full delivery from Hilfenhaus, while Warner was caught at mid-off for 8, trying to take on the bowler too early in his innings. Ojha fell caught behind for 3, while Jayawardene made 8 before finding the fielder at mid-on. Venugopal Rao and Yogesh Nagar found themselves in the middle with a job on their hands.
Rao and Nagar added 48 runs for the fifth wicket at a run a ball before the former fell to Ravichandran Ashwin for 27. Irfan Pathan replaced Rao, but struggled to do any serious damage. Hilfenhaus conceded 13 in his final over, the penultimate one of the innings in an otherwise sedate finish for Delhi. The Daredevils finished with a well under par 114/5 with Yogesh Nagar ending unbeaten on 44. The visitors needed one of their quicks to match Hilfenhaus' effort with the ball early on, otherwise we were in for an early finish.
Those wickets never arrived as the Chennai openers played some smart cricket to steer their side towards an easy win. Virender Sehwag made a change to his usual approach giving his quicker bowlers the new ball but the trio of Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron failed to provide their side with a decisive breakthrough. To make matters worse, Chennai scored a handy 45 runs in the powerplay and had extended that opening partnership to 75 at the half-way stage of their innings. With just 40 required from 10 overs with 10 wickets in hand the game was as good as over.
Chennai coasted to an easy win in the 16th over with Michael Hussey their lone casualty with the Aussie veteran falling to Irfan Pathan for 38. Murali Vijay got some much needed runs under his belt to end unbeaten on 48, while Suresh Raina made a quickfire 28 to see Chennai past the finish line. It was a comprehensive win, but given the opportunity, the Super Kings might have improved their net run rate even further by going after the bowling a bit more towards the end.
Chennai Super Kings: Hussey, Vijay, Raina, Bravo, Dhoni, Jadeja, A Morkel, Srikkanth, Jakati, Hilfenhaus.
Delhi Daredevils: Sehwag, Warner, Ojha, Jayawardene, Pathan, Rao, Nagar, Yadav, Van der Merwe, Aaron, M Morkel.
Delhi Daredevils 114/5 (20 overs, 5.7rpo)
Y Nagar 44* (46) B Hilfenhaus 3-27
V Rao 27 (24) A Morkel 1-15
Chennai Super Kings 115/1 (15.2 overs, 7.5rpo)
M Vijay 48* (40) I Pathan 1-15
M Hussey 38 (32)
Chennai win by 9 wickets with 28 balls to spare
File Photograph Copyright: Michael Henn
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