New Delhi, May 8 (UNI) In a nerve-wrecker that went to the wire, the Chennai Super Kings scored 15 runs off the last over to emerge victorious by four-wickets against Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla here today.
The match looked well in Daredevils' pocket when Shoaib Malik began the last over, but Manpreet Gony (13) and Badrinath (8) held their nerves to reach the required target of 188 just on time.
Malik's first delivery off the last over was welcomed by Gony to a huge six at mid-wicket and then followed it with a wide to make the target eight runs of five balls. But the margin was further reduced when in the next ball Gony smashed him four a four. The scores were levelled after the fourth ball of the over but then Badrinath defended it and decided to take the match to the last ball. However, it could have been a bowl-out, had Shikhar Dhawan not missed a difficult chance at mid-wicket to drop Badrinath which eventually, came out to be the winning runs for Super Kings.
Earlier, chasing a competetive score of 188, the Super Kings were off to a great start and were 98 for three half through their innings.
Stephen Flemming and Shivaramakrishnan Vidyut started the innings for visitors and soon added 62 runs in six overs before under-19 World Cup star Pradeep Sangwan brought latter's downfall. Vidyut hit a fast paced 40 off 23 balls with the help of six fours and a four.
Dhoni then decided to come at one down and held his end till the second last over of the match. But Flemming kept the scoring rate going from the other end and while doing so became a victim of Mohammad Asif when he was on 44.
Things started to look difficult for Super Kings but Albie Morkel's 30, 23 of which came from Sehwag's second over tilted the match again to the visitors' favour.
A brilliant diving catch at long-on by AB de Villiers to dismiss Dhoni off Yo Mahesh which was followed by Kapugedara's wicket brought the match at an exciting stage.
In the end it came out to be the lack of fifth bowler for Daredevils which was compensated by Sehwag and Malik. But the two bowlers gave away 58 runs for their combined four overs and went wicketless.
Dhoni for his 33 off 33 balls and for superb captaincy was awarded man of the match.
In the afternoon, Opener Gautam Gambhir hit a magnificent 49-ball 80 to lead Delhi Daredevils to a competitive total against Chennai Super Kings who had suffered three consecutive losses in their last three matches.
Set to bat first by Super Kings' captain Mahender Singh Dhoni, Gambhir combined with his skipper to gave Daredevils a solid start.
Both the openers added 45 runs in 30 balls.
Sehwag was looking in ominous form as he dispatched the first ball he faced for a four over the point. But the dangerous looking batsman was soon shown the way to the pavilion by Manpreet Gony, who clean bowled the Daredevils' skipper.
Sehwag made 23 off 18 balls and hit three fours.
The Super Kings did not have to wait long for their second victim as in the next over AB de Villiers found no answer to his South African teammate Albie Morkel's yorker and went without troubling the scorers.
However, Gambhir had other plans and did not let the Super Kings take advantage of the oppoortunity. Left-hander Shikhar Dhawan joined Gambhir and both the batsmen led the charege for the home team.
Gambhir and Dhawan added 121 runs in just 70 balls. Dhoni kept changing his bowlers over after over but the duo defied him from taking their wickets.
While Gambhir's innings was studded with 11 fours and two sixes, Dhawan's innings of 59 (46 balls) included six fours and two sixes.
Gambhir along with his sensible play rode his luck too and was gifted a life by Suresh Raina who missed an easy run out chance when the opener was half way down the pitch. But from there on, Gambhir did not look back and on his way surpassed his captain for the Orange Cap and emerged the leading run scorer in the tournament.
For Super Kings, Muttiah Murlitharan was the most economical bowler giving away 25 runs off his four overs however he went wicketless. Morkel though, guilty of conceding too many runs, scalped two important wickets from his four overs and gave 35 runs.
Discarded from the national side, pace bowler Laxmipati Balaji also claimed two wickets. He was introduced in the 10th over by Dhoni and by that time the batsmen were well settled and launched an onslaught on him. His four overs went for 35 runs.
Dhoni's boys will now have to play really well as they have a tough job at hands especially to play away the spells of pace spearhead Glen McGrath and Mohammad Asif.
UNI RAR RKM AS2028