Defending champions Chennai Super Kings did the expected as they defeated high-fliers Delhi Daredevils by nine wickets to move up to the fourth spot on the Indian Premier league leaderboard here Saturday.
Asked to bat first, the Daredevils never recovered from a disastrous start and were restricted to 114 for five, thanks in the main to Yogesh Nagar(43 not out) as seamers Ben Hilfenhaus (3 for 27) and Albie Morkel (1 for 15) did the bulk of damage.
In reply, the Super Kings made light of target with openers Michael Hussey (38) and Murali Vijay (48 not out) putting on 75 runs and then Suresh Raina blasting a 20-ball 28 not out to take the hosts to 115 in 15.2 overs.
The victory, their seventh, took the Super Kings tally to 15, behind Daredevils (18), Kolkata Knight Riders (17) and Mumbai Indians (16).
Faced with a modest total, the Super Kings looked keen to score at a brisk rate with intention to boost their net run rate that couldcome into play in the event of a tie for positions at the conclusion of theleague.
To this end, Hussey and Vijay wasted no time to get into their stride while scoring most of the runs through boundaries with none of the Daredevils bowlers, including leading wicket-taker Morne Morkel, making any impression on the batsmen.
Hussey, after batting fluently, departed, caught at point by Mahela Jayawardene in Irfan Pathan's second over, but the loss of wicket was of little consequence as Vijay and Raina kicked on to complete a comfortable win for the Super Kings.
The early loss of wickets, including those of skipper Virender Sehwag (4), David Warner (8), the centurion in the previous game, Naman Ojha (3), who scored an unbeaten century just 48 hours earlier, and veteran Jayawardene(8) by the sixth over put the visitors on the backfoot.
Sehwag was bowled neck and crop by a beauty by Hilfenhaus while Warner was foxed by a slower ball and Ojha was well-caught down the leg-side by a diving Mahendra Singh Dhoni but was given out only after referring to the third umpire.
At the other end, Morkel struck by removing Jayawardene who offered a tame catch to Hussey at mid-on and the Daredevils were reduced to 24 for four in the sixth over.
Thereafter, it was a heavy duty labour for runs. Though Rao and Nagar put on 48 runs for the fifth wicket, there was no appreciabl emomentum in the innings.
The big-hits virtually dried up as the Super Kings bowlers kept it tight and barring an occasional lose ball, the batsmen had to work hardf or runs.
Just when Rao was looking to open up, he fell to the catch of the day as Morkel leapt to his left and caught one-handed to present Ashwin his only wicket of the game.
All-rounder Irfan Pathan scratched around and could never dominate though he helped Nagar to add 42 runs for the unfinished sixth wicket, but a total of 114 was way below par against the Super Kings renowned for their batting might.