Having already made their exit from 2015 IPL, Delhi Daredevils’ victory in the night game at Raipur was inconsequential for themselves. But it spoiled the mathematics for Chennai Super Kings, who are still technically not in play-offs despite 16 points to their credit. As it stands, CSK have one game left and the possibility of their being edged out on Net-Run-Rate cannot be ruled out just yet. Despite missing Imran Tahir, Amit Mishra and Nathan Coulter-Nile on Tuesday at Raipur, DD exhibited exceptional bowling performance and with their fielders hurling themselves to prevent runs, they restricted Chennai Super Kings to 119 for 6. Later in the easy 120-run chase, Shreyas Iyer came up with a cleanly compiled unbeaten half century as Delhi walked away with a convincing 6-wicket victory.
MS Dhoni decided to bat after winning the toss but even the highly reputed CSK openers couldn’t get going on an apparently uneven and sluggish pitch at Raipur. In one of their worst power-play effort, CSK could only reach 16 in 6 overs and they lost the big-hitting Brendon McCullum. The New-Zealander hung around for 21 balls for his 11 runs, which included just one four. Zaheer Khan kept testing McCullum for 5 balls and on the sixth, extracted the softest possible scoop from him that JP Duminy held at mid-off. Suresh Raina’s arrival did nothing to improve the runs rate Albie Morkel, Zaheer Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem and Jayant Yadav bowled excellent spells. Ironically, DD’s top three bowlers did not play in this match. While Nadeem came for Amit Mishra, Imran Tahir and Nathan Coulter-Nile made way for Albie Morkel and Gurinder Sandhu. Regardless, the bowlers proved effective against the supposedly strong CSK batting combination. Like McCullum, Dwayne Smith also spent considerable time on the crease and finally fell as LBW victim to Albie Morkel. That was the 9th over and CSK had reached a paltry 34. In the 10th, it was the turn of Suresh Raina to walk back to the pavilion, when he charged out of his crease to thump Jayant Yadav out of the ground but only managed to reach Duminy’s throat at short cover. At hallway mark in the innings, CSK were yet to cross 50. Faf du Plessis and Dhoni steadied the boat somewhat with a 37-run stand for the fourth wicket before du Plessis dragged a Morkel delivery on his stumps and then dragged himself out of the field for 29 off 23 balls. Dhoni kept going from one end and didn’t find adequate support from others and CSK’s misery ended at 119/6 after 20 overs. Zaheer Khan was the pick of DD bowlers with excellent figures of 2/9 off 4 overs.
When Delhi Daredevils came on to chase 120, they lost Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy quite early. But that didn’t deter them since Shreyas Iyer held one end with master class performance. With Yuvraj for company, the chase became quite smooth. Yuvraj was the third DD wicket to fall in the 14th over but by that time DD had reached 93 runs and their victory looked imminent. Iyer had taken the control and he just needed someone at the other end for the smallest support. Albie Morkel had walked out after Yuvraj’s exit and he hung around until the score reached 114 in the 16th over. Iyer finally finished the task of taking his team to a 6-wicket well-deserved victory in 16.4 overs with an unbeaten 49-ball 70 that included 10 fours and a six.