Hosts Chennai Super Kings defeated Delhi Daredevils by one run in a thrilling Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Thursday.
Chasing a 151-run target, Delhi Daredevils, led by a valiant innings from South African Albie Morkel (73 not out), came within inches of wining the contest. Requiring a six off the last ball, the left-handed batsman just managed to score a boundary to lose agonisingly by a run.
Daredevils run chase began on a wrong note, losing three quick wickets. Veteran pacer Asish Nehra (3/25) rocked their chase, grabbing the first three wickets as his intelligent bowling forced the Delhi batsmen into playing poor strokes.
But Delhi recoverd from the blows due to some sensible batting from Morkel and Kedar Yadav (20). Together they put on a 48-run fourth wicket stand to steady the Daredevils innings and keep them in contention.
But Yadav’s dismissal in the 14th over brought this year’s IPL’s most expensive man Yuvraj singh (9) into the crease – only to perish soon after miscuing a pull shot.
From there, Daredevils’ hope rested on Morkel’s shoulders. He carried his team to the brink of a win. But in the end the burly all-rounder just couldn’t pull off a morale-boosting victory for the team that finished bottom of the heap last season.
Earlier, CSK posted 150/7 after Daredevils opted to bowl after winning the toss.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s (30) and his Indian teammate Ravichandran Ashwin (12 not out) guided the team to the modest total after the home team struggled to force the pace throughtout their innings.
CSK’s hope for a strong start got an early jolt when New Zealand’s World Cup hero Brendon McCullum (4) was dismissed in the second over.
Newly-married India batsman Suresh Raina (4) also didn’t last long.
Some tight bowling by the Daredevils kept the Chennai batsman on a tight leash. CSK’s desperation to break the shackles got the better of them and after reaching their 100 in the 13th over, they lost wickets at regular intervals.
South African Faf du Plessis’ (32) dismissal triggered the downslide. His untimely dismissal, coupled with opener Dwayne Smith’s (34) in the ninth over, meant that CSK’s batting momentum was broken.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 150/7 (Dwayne Smith 34, Faf du Plessis 32; Natha Coultir Nile 3/30, J.P Duminy 1/15), Delhi Daredevils 149/9 (Albie Morkel 73 not out, K. Yadav 20; Asish Nehra 3/25, Dwayne Bravo 1/19).