Dhawan, Hetmyer Take DC Closer To Top-two Finish

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Dhawan, Hetmyer take DC closer to top-two finish. Hetmyer's 18-ball 28* took Delhi over the line in a tense chase.

Dhawan, Hetmyer Take DC Closer To Top-two FinishHetmyer's 18-ball 28* took Delhi over the line in a tense chase.

Delhi Capitals made a meal of what should've been an easier chase, but got over the line in the end to take another step towards a top-two finish. After a rare Ruturaj Gaikwad failure, CSK just didn't have the batting impetus to impose themselves, crashing and burning their way to 136/5.

A middle-overs wobble saw Delhi Capitals nearly throw the game away, before Shimron Hetymer and Axar Patel fought it out. CSK dragged the chase all the way to a dramatic final over, but Kagiso Rabada ended any hopes of a late heist with flick to the fine leg for the winning runs with two balls to spare.

Dramatic final over? What happened?

A mini-tussle between Shimron Hetmyer and Dwayne Bravo brought the equation down to 6 off 6.

In Bravo's previous over, Hetmyer used his familiarity with his West Indian compatriot from playing against him in CPL and second-guessed the lengths outside the off-stump, to negate Bravo's wide yorkers. Bravo still should've won the tussle there, but Krishnappa Gowtham fluffed a straight catching chance at long on to push it to the final over.

On the first ball of the final over too, Bravo went full and wide, and once again Hetmyer shuffled across and hit through cover to pick up a couple of runs. MS Dhoni then called for his helmet to stand up to the stumps and stop Hetmyer from leaving his crease, but Bravo couldn't control his slower one and bowled it wide outside the pitch. After much deliberation, the ball was adjudged a wide – instead of a no-ball.

What's the law on this?

Ricky Ponting seemed miffed but the umpires got it absolutely right. As per law 21.7, it would've been given a no-ball – accompanied by a free-hit – had the ball bounced before going past the stumps at the striker's end. But since the ball carried on the full all the way behind the stumps, the umpires rightly called it a wide.

Back to the over…

As Axar and Hetmyer stole a single, the former was left to get 2 off 5. Axar swung and missed on the next, and then hit straight to Moeen Ali at cover to drag CSK back into the fixture. Bravo added to the tension by running in and pulling out of the ball at the last minute, but Rabada was steady to put away a leg side ball to the fine leg fence and complete the chase.

Let's get to the first innings first. No Gaikwad effect today?

The young opener has been CSK's most influential performer since IPL arrived in UAE, but Anrich Nortje stopped him in his tracks, bouncing him out with sheer pace. Gaikwad, who survived an LBW decision through a review in the very first over, couldn't duck under this short ball in the fifth over, mistiming his pull to Ashwin at mid-on. By this stage, CSK had lost both their openers as Faf du Plessis smashed a hit-me short ball from Axar Patel straight to Shreyas Iyer at deep midwicket. The Gaikwad effect worked in the opposite direction tonight, as his dismissal led a wobbly CSK into the middle phase where they were thoroughly strangled.

How did that come about?

DC worked with the advantage of not having to bowl to a spin tormentor in Gaikwad, who throughout this season has expertly found a new hitting gear when teams introduce spinners. Based on how the India leg went, Moeen Ali was meant to be as big a threat against spin, but that hasn't quite translated since the season moved to UAE. The left-hander looked to take on the form bowler – Axar – and paid the price as he hit a leg stump delivery straight to Iyer at deep midwicket.

Robin Uthappa had the opportunity to make his mark after getting off the bench for the first time this season. He was circumspect to start off on a two-paced surface, and perished with his first attempt to break the lethargy. The right-hander failed to spot Ashwin's carrom ball, and his attempt to swipe it to the leg side resulted in a big leading edge that Ashwin pouched.

What followed?

A One-tone Dhoni and a sporadic Rayudu.

Their fifth-wicket stand stretched all the way to the final over, but it was a phase where CSK were pinned to the mat. CSK went boundary-less for a period 35 balls, until Avesh Khan's leg-side loosener gave Rayudu some respite in the 12th over. But that was only one of five fours that CSK managed in the second half of the innings – all coming off Rayudu. He also hit the only two sixes of the innings, while Dhoni struggled on his way to a 27-ball 18 – his worst-ever IPL innings when he has played 25 balls or more.

Between them, Axar and Ashwin conceded 38 runs and picked three wickets in eight overs. CSK's two senior statesmen, meanwhile, put on a stodgy 70-run stand off 64 balls, while their better death-overs hitters Bravo and Jadeja were sat in the dugout waiting for their turn. A few hits from Rayudu in the 18th and 19th over took him to a half-century, and dragged CSK to 136/5, which felt under-par at that stage.

Axar Patel concurred, saying 150 was perhaps par. How did it even get close?

The Delhi Capitals top-order struggled to keep Shikhar Dhawan company, consistently giving CSK a way back from an unfavourable position. Deepak Chahar once again proved to be Prithvi Shaw's nemesis – seeing the back of him for the seventh time in IPL. Shaw got a touch too adventurous trying to get on top of his duel against a familiar adversary, and ended up miscuing a heave to Du Plessis at mid-off. Though Dhawan was intent on dragging the game away swiftly, Iyer's early dismissal meant DC had a very similar PowerPlay to CSK.

How did CSK steady themselves in the middle-overs?

Through Jadeja and Shardul Thakur.

With wickets falling, DC lost a bit of rhythm to their chase, while Dhawan fought a lone battle at the other end. Debutant Ripal Patel showed the most promise among the other top-order batters, but he too was gone after a 20-ball appearance for 18 runs. A double-wicket Thakur over threatened to entirely derail DC's chase when he got rid of Dhawan and Ravichandran Ashwin, leaving DC on 99 for 6, and in need of 38 from 30.

Which way did the chase turn from here?

It stubbornly remained on an even keel, as Hetmyer and Axar navigated past two stingy five-run overs from Moeen Ali and Shardul Thakur, before the eventful West Indian-v-West Indian face-off materialised. Between the drop from Gowtham in a 12-run over and a big six that was clobbered off Hazlewood in the 19th, Hetmyer had done enough to achieve what he later admitted he was really paid to do at DC – finish games.

Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 136/5 in 20 overs (Ambati Rayudu 55, Robin Uthappa 19; Axar Patel 2-18, Ravichandran Ashwin 1-20) lost to Delhi Capitals 139/7 in 19.4 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 39, Shimron Hetmyer 28*; Shardul Thakur 2-13, Ravindra Jadeja 2-28) by 3 wickets

Leave a Comment