Delhi Capitals romped to a seven-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in their Indian Premier League opener on Saturday, thanks to openers Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw’s explosive batting. DC easily chased down a total of 189 with 1.2 overs to spare, thanks to Dhawan’s 85 off 54 balls and Shaw’s 72 off 38 deliveries. Rishabh Pant, the new captain, scored the winning runs. With Shaw and Dhawan on fire, Delhi Capitals got off to a flying start and were sitting pretty at 65 for no loss after six Powerplay overs.
As the Delhi Capitals sped past 100 in fast time, the two openers went for their big shots with impunity on both sides of the Wankhede Stadium.
DC could afford to dictate terms and place pressure on CSK with 90 runs required in the last 10 overs with all wickets in hand. CSK was eliminated from the competition when Shardul Thakur and Sam Curran were sent on a leather quest.
Shaw’s innings was a continuation of his Vijay Hazare Trophy style, and a small change in technique and a straight backlift are paying off for him.
“I concentrated on the back-and-forth [movement], and I also concentrated on Pravin sir. It seems to be performing very well, in my opinion “Shaw remarked.
As DC inched closer to the goal with consummate ease, the fours and sixes began to pour. Although the CSK bowling attack had no response for the DC openers’ strokes, their plight was compounded by two dropped Shaw catches on 38 and 47, with Moeen Ali the unlucky bowler on both occasions.
Shaw sped to half-century in just 27 balls, while senior partner Dhawan reached the milestone in 35 deliveries, making good use of the reprieves. Shaw smashed nine fours and three sixes, while Dhawan smashed ten boundaries and two maximums before falling short of the century mark.
Suresh Raina made his IPL comeback earlier this week with a blistering 36-ball 54 that helped his team to a good 188 for seven. To support CSK’s innings towards the end, Sam Curran smashed 34 off just 15 balls. Curran smacked four fours and two sixes in his innings. Thanks to Curran’s explosive innings, CSK scored 52 runs in the final five overs.
Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was asked to bat first by Rishabh Pant, got CSK off to a good start with a nice drive through the off side between point and cover, two deliveries after being beaten all ends up by a Chris Woakes outswinger.
DC, who finished second last season, didn’t have to wait long for their first wicket, as Avesh Khan (2/23 in 4 overs) caught Faf du PLessis in front of the wicket in the second over. Woakes trapped Gaikwad in the slip cordon with the first ball of the third over, reducing CSK to seven for two. With a ball that jumped slightly on pitching, the English pacer drew Gaikwad into a drive.
Raina was brought in after missing the previous IPL due to personal reasons, and he and Moeen Ali revived CSK’s innings and looked to put up a daunting total against a solid DC batting line-up at the Wankhede Stadium. Moeen Ali hit four boundaries and two sixes in his 24-ball 36, providing excellent support to Raina.
Moeen Ali’s innings was cut short by experienced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin when the all-rounder got himself into an awkward situation when trying for a reverse sweep, with the resulting top-edge ending in a decent catch by Shikhar Dhawan, who ran backwards from short third man to catch the ball.
Before Tom Curran’s stay in the centre, Ambati Rayudu came in and immediately got into the act, hitting a pair of sixes and a four to run away to 23 off 16 balls. Meanwhile, Raina went about his business in a way that did not suggest he was returning to the top after a long absence.
Raina got it rolling with a four off Woakes, then smashed two consecutive boundaries off Ashwin, not afraid to dance down the wicket against the wily spinner’s flight. The seasoned southpaw used his foot well to dismiss leg-spinner Amit Mishra for two runs and even got a maximum against Ashwin. Raina did the same with Marcus Stoinis, pulling the Australian medium pacer for another six runs before being run-out due to a mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja (26).