There was heartache for Chennai Super Kings on Saturday night as Shikhar Dhawan scored his maiden IPL century to script the victory for Delhi Capitals.
Batting first, Chennai Super Kings had posted a total of 179-4 in 20 overs with Faf du Plessis scoring 58 in 47 balls. Ambati Rayudu remained unbeaten at 45 in 25 balls, while Shane Watson and Ravindra Jadeja contributed with 36 and 33 not out respectively.
Delhi Capitals’ run-chase didn’t start on a good note as their batsman in form, Prithvi Shaw, was out on a duck. Ajinkya Rahane too departed by scoring just 8 runs. But Shikhar Dhawan decided to take it upon himself to attempt to pull off another win for Delhi Capitals. In the process, he went on to score his maiden IPL century in just 57 balls. He was, however, beneficiary of a sloppy fielding by CSK players as he was dropped on four different occasions.
However, by the time Dhawan completed his century, Delhi Capitals needed 17 runs in the last over. Axar Patel, who had replaced Alex Carey in the 19th over, hit Jadeja for 21 in the last five balls, securing an easy win for Delhi Capitals.
Speaking after the watch, Dhoni said that he had no option but to ask Jadeja, a spinner, to bowl the last over since Dwayne Bravo was not fit.
He said, “Bravo was not fit. He went out and didn’t come back. The options were Jaddu and Karn. I went with Jaddu. Shikhar’s wicket was important but we dropped him quite a number of times. If he keeps batting, he will keep the strike rate high. Also the wicket played better in the second half, but we can’t take the credit away from Shikhar. There wasn’t a lot of dew, but there was just enough to make the pitch better. That makes a big difference: minus 10 when you are batting, and the extra 10 for the team batting second. A positive was Sam’s last over. He needs convincing he can execute the wide yorkers. He is not usually confident with that, but today he did well with that. So that is one ball that can be difficult to hit.”
Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer said, “I was sitting inside and I was pretty nervous. I knew if Shikhar stayed till the end, we would win, but the way Axar came out and hit those sixes, it was brilliant. Whenever we give out dressing room Man of the match awards, he is always there. You see his preparations, they are always on point. We know the strengths and weaknesses of our team very well. We enjoy each other’s progress. I just told one of my team-mates today that the way Shikhar batted it was mesmerising to see. As a captain, that gives you breathing space that someone can take your team to the end.”
Shikhar Dhawan was declared Man Of The Match for his fine century.