Sensational MS Dhoni turned back the clock in stunning style as he hit quick-fire 51 off just 22 balls and made the difference in the end as Chennai Super Kings registered a 13-run win over the Delhi Daredevils.
Dhoni’s blitzkrieg along with Shane Watson’s fine innings of 78 off 40 balls helped Chennai reach 211/4 after being put into bat.
Delhi got off to the worst possible start in chase as Prithvi Shaw departed early for just 9.
Munro and Shreyas Iyer then looked to up the ante and were looking good before debutant Asif picked his second wicket of the day, getting the dangerous Munro for 26 off just 16 balls.
That bought Rishabh Pant to the crease and for Delhi to get anywhere close to the target, it was important for him and Iyer to get a big partnership. It started promisingly as Pant hit a six and four off the first two balls he faced.
However, Iyer was run out after confusion with Pant, walking back to the hut 13.
Maxwell’s dismal IPL continued as he was dismissed for 6.
Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant put on 88 runs for the 5th wicket but at no stage did it seem Chennai Super Kings were in danger of losing.
Jadeja (1/31) and Harbhajan 0/26) quickly went through their overs quickly with Daredevils struggling to get the big overs.
In the end, Pant was dismissed for 79. Vijay Shankar gave late hopes to Daredevils fans as he hit a few lusty blows into the crowd but that was never going to be enough. He ended unbeaten on 54 off 31 balls.
Lungi Ngidi was terrific with the ball on his debut, ending with figures of 1/25 in his 4 overs but none of the other bowlers looked good, which would worry CSK going ahead in the tournament.
Earlier, Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis got Chennai off to an absolute flier but only after Watson survived a rather close call on the very first delivery of the game when it seemed Trent Boult had Watson plumb in front. Umpire gave it not out and Daredevils straight away went for a review. Replays seemed to suggest it was pad first, and had that been the case, Watson would have been gone first ball. However, the third umpired stayed with the on-field umpire’s verdict.
But the Australian then went berserk, starting by targeting Liam Plunkett and smashing him for 20 runs in his first over.
Chennai Super Kings ended the powerplay with the score at 56/0 and the two openers put on 103 runs for the first wicket before du Plessis was dismissed for run-a-ball 33 by Vijay Shankar.
Maxwell then removed Raina for 1 in the next over as Daredevils looked to mount bit of a comeback.
Watson was then dismissed for 78 off just 40 balls, with 7 sixes and 4 boundaries. In walked MS Dhoni to thunderous applause and he delivered when it mattered as he changed the game completely.
Dhoni is known to take time to settle, but not today as he went berserk right from the word go. He smashed his sixth ball for a 6 and never looked back.
He then hit Boult for two consecutive sixes and then a boundary, targeting Delhi’s no.1 death bowler.
Avesh Khan, who bowled well on the day and ended with figures of 0/28 was hit for a 108m long six - the second biggest of the tournament by Dhoni.
Boult (0/48) and Plunkett (0/52 in 3 overs) bore the brunt of CSK and MS Dhoni’s force as the home team ended at 211/4.