Watson, Dhoni demolish Daredevils

Chennai Super Kings overpower Delhi Daredevils to return to the top of the IPL table

Australian all-rounder Shane Watson produced another age-defying performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 against Delhi Daredevils on Monday, but not before luck favoured him in an LBW dismissal that could have gone in the favour of the bowler.

It is not just the rate at which he scored which makes his innings outstanding but also the way in which he paced himself as he batted.

Because of the duo's aggressive batting Chennai posted a match winning total of 211 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in 20 overs. Rishabh Pant the lone fighter and some late fireworks from Vijay Shankar but the top order failure and the run out of Shreyas Iyer in the first half of the chase put the target of 212 beyond them. On occasions, the South African player also went for the big shots.

Earlier batting first, CSK were powered by Shane Watson and MS Dhoni's half-centuries.

Delhi bowlers had a hard task of containing a powerful CSK batting line-up and who could fault them for that? Watson was unstoppable after Trent Boult (0/48) nearly had him trapped in front of the stumps with a pacy inswinger at the start of the match. The visiting team took the DRS, but the third umpire did not have conclusive evidence to overrule the not-out call of the on-field umpire.

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Earlier, openers Watson (78) and Faf du Plessis (33) provided a flawless start before skipper Dhoni and Rayudu (41 not out) finished the proceedings in style to power Chennai Super Kings to an imposing total. Watson got two more sixes off leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia to get to his fifty.

When the former Australian all-rounder departed, the risky combine of Rayudu and Dhoni got together in the 14th over. They lost their first wicket in the form of Plessis (33) who was followed by Suresh Raina (1) in the next over and later Rayudu (78). The third one was a whip off Avesh Khan over square leg, which nearly went out of the park. While Watsons scored 40-ball 78, Dhoni finished unbeaten on 51 off just 22 balls. It was an irony that both Asif and Bravo gave away 43 runs in 3 overs, one of the rare occasions when Bravo didn't get to bowl his full quota of 4 overs in a T20 match involving CSK.

For Chennai, K.M. Asif took two wickets while Lungi Ngidi and Ravindra Jadeja chipped in with one wicket each.

Shankar launched the three sixes into the stands in the penultimate over and another from second ball of the last to keep the game alive but Ngidi held his nerve to finish the job for Chennai.

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