Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to come down the order yet again backfired as Delhi Capitals rode on Prithvi Shaw’s fluent fifty and a disciplined bowling effort to inflict a 44-run defeat on Chennai Super Kings, their second straight loss in the ongoing Indian Premier League on Friday. Young Shaw struck a fluent half-century and shared a 94-run opening stand with Shikhar Dhawan to guide Delhi Capitals to 175/3 in 20 overs. (MATCH HIGHLIGHTS)Also Read - Harbhajan Singh Recalls When Varun Chakravarthy Troubled MS Dhoni in CSK's Nets
Shaw made 64 off 43 balls in the company of Dhawan (35 off 27 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) to provide a superb start to DC’s innings after being put into bat. While defending, Delhi Capitals made full use of CSK’s lacklustre batting performance to register their second consecutive win of the tournament, which took them to the top of the points table. (SCORECARD) Also Read - Shikhar Dhawan Set to Miss Remainder of Series After Being Termed Close Contact With Krunal Pandya: Report
CSK skipper Dhoni did not push himself up the order on Friday, given the expectations after his decision to hold himself back in the game against Rajasthan Royals backfired, which meant the veteran again did not have enough time and balls to take his side home. Also Read - Can See Shades of MS Dhoni in Shikhar Dhawan’s Calm & Composed Captaincy: Kamran Akmal
Coming in at No.6 in the 16th over with 78 runs needed from 4.2 overs while chasing 176, Dhoni could only make 15 runs (12 balls, 2 fours) in what was a below-par performance from the two-time champions.
South African Faf du Plessis was the top-scorer with 43 while his compatriots Kagiso Rabada (3 for 26) and Anrich Nortje (2 for 21) shone with the ball to fashion a memorable win for Delhi Capitals.
CSK’s veteran opener Murali Vijay’s struggles continued as he could make only 10 (off 15 balls) for a third straight failure.
Fellow opener Shane Watson fell while attempting to break the shackles, caught in the deep by Shimron Hetmyer off Axar Patel, unable to capitalise on a reprieve by Shaw.
With the asking rate climbing up, Du Plessis could not force the pace against a disciplined DC bowling attack with the spin duo of Amit Mishra (4-0-23-0) and Axar Patel (4-0-18-1) keeping the CSK batsmen on a tight leash.
Young Ruturaj Gaikwad (5) and Kedar Jadhav (26 from 21 balls) could not provide the much-needed thrust as CSK’s woes continued.
Earlier, Shaw and Dhawan started slowly, scoring just 36 runs of the first six overs of powerplay before opening up to stitch 94 runs for the opening wicket in 10.4 overs. Shaw, who began by hitting two consecutive boundaries off Deepak Chahar in the first over of the match, didn’t appear to rush things and played some attractive shots.
Once the CSK skipper Dhoni introduced the spin duo of Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja in the seventh over, both Shaw and Dhawan went on the offensive.
Chawla, who was taken apart by Sanju Samson in their previous game against Rajasthan Royals, came in for some rough treatment as did Jadeja who went wicketless in his four overs (0/44).
Dhawan after playing second fiddle for a while, joined the party and hit a couple of attractive boundaries and slogged Jadeja’s first ball for a six over mid-wicket. The DC openers hammered 58 in the next 4.4 overs after the slow start.
Chawla broke the dangerous-looking partnership by removing both Dhawan and Shaw in consecutive overs.
Rishabh Pant (37 not out, 25 balls) and captain Shreyas Iyer (26, 22 balls) pushed the scoreboard along before the latter was caught by a diving Dhoni off Sam Curran as CSK managed to pull things back.