New Delhi: Coming off an upset defeat to Pune Warriors at home, two-time IPL winners Chennai Super Kings got back to winning ways against the poorest team in the league, Delhi Daredevils. Those who came to the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday witnessed an utter mismatch, with CSK drubbing this season's laughing stock by 86 runs to move up to fourth on the IPL 6 leaderboard.
The tactic of keeping wickets in hand for the late overs worked for Chennai, who went at run-a-ball for the first ten overs despite being just one wicket down; Michael Hussey and MS Dhoni ransacked 38 off the last three over to surge to 169 for 4. Delhi never came close in what was always going to be a tricky chase, losing four wickets inside the Powerplay as a struggling batting line-up again came a cropper. Delhi's final total of 83 was the lowest this year.
Chennai were given their second best opening stand of the season - 30 - by Hussey and Murali Vijay before the latter was trapped lbw for 18 to Morne Morkel in the fifth over. At the fall of Vijay's wicket Hussey had faced 14 balls for 11 runs and he continued in accumulation mood with Suresh Raina, with whom he added 60 for the second wicket.
Raina's average run of form continued with a 32-ball 30, which ended when he slashed at Irfan Pathan and edged behind. That wicket ushered in Dhoni at No. 4, and with it the definitive partnership of the match. Dhoni smashed his first ball straight down the ground for four, then drilled Morkel for four through the off side, but was dropped on 17 by the usually reliable Ajit Agarkar at long-off.
Hussey had begun to accelerate just before Raina departed, and having reached a half-century in 41 balls he cut loose in the 19th over off Morkel, which cost 19. Dhoni slammed ten off the first two balls and Hussey picked up boundaries off the last two. Dhoni collected two more fours before he was runout for 44 off 22 balls, and Delhi did well to limit CSK to nine off the last over, running out Dwayne Bravo off the final delivery.
Once again, Delhi failed to make a good start. Debutant Haryana seamer Mohit Sharma struck twice in his first over, bowling David Warner for 1 and trapping Manprit Juneja lbw for 2, though replays showed the ball would have probably missed the stumps. From here, it was like shooting plastic ducks at the fare.
Chris Morris picked off Mahela Jayawardene for 6, Sharma added a third when Virender Sehwag top-edged to deep square leg, Jeevan Mendis was run out for 2 and the lower order ran through by Chennai's spinners. Delhi have hit a new low and are facing an early exit from IPL 6.