With them already dumped out of the league, Delhi Daredevils decided to hurt Chennai Super Kings’ position in the table with a 34-run win at home on Friday. Chennai had dominated much of the game with their disciplined bowling but it went awry in the final few overs as Harshal Patel threw his bat around at anything and everything.
With just 162 on board to chase down, Chennai were still favourites to win and Ambati Rayudu's half-century seemed to almost propel them to the target. A slew of wickets once again left MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo to do the finishing job but Trent Boult dismissed both of them in successive overs to seal the game for Delhi. Here are some of the best moments from the game at Delhi:
Shardul Thakur's drops, and then catches
They say life doesn't give you second chances, but apparently Prithvi Shaw does. On Friday, with the 18-year-old appearing in great touch, MS Dhoni brought on Ravindra Jadeja to outfox the youngster. The move almost paid off as Shaw went for a slog sweep but a miscued shot went to mid-on. Fortunately for him, Shardul Thakur at mid-on missed the chance.
Not one to shy away from playing his strokes, it took Shaw just two more balls to employ another ugly hoick, this time off Deepak Chahar. Spotting a back of a length delivery from the seamer, Shaw threw the kitchen sink at it, only to mistime it to Thakur stationed at long-on. This time he hung on and must have breathed a sigh of relief. For Shaw, in that kind of mood, could have hurt CSK big time.
Ngidi’s double strike dents Delhi
Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant have been Delhi Daredevils’ pillars this season and the two seemed to be settling down at the wicket for a blistering attack. Pant had already sent Harbhajan Singh to the cleaners with his ferocious striking when Lungi Ngidi was called upon to break the budding partnership.
Beating two of the most fierce batsmen of the season for pace, Ngidi sent back Iyer and Pant in the space of four balls. Iyer was undone by a length ball that zipped through under his horizontal bat shot to hit the stumps. In the same over, a fired up Ngidi managed to beat Pant for pace and the wild slog to the leg-side from the batsman went straight to third man.
Jadeja’s toe-crusher to Maxwell
With Iyer and Pant back in the hut, Delhi Daredevils turned to Maxwell to keep the run rate up. They had forever been waiting for the ‘Big Show’ to fire and his fairly consistent selection, despite his terrible form and Colin Munro’s presence in the dugout, had left commentators and critics befuddled.
Not one to be weighed down by such remarks, Maxwell wasted no time to get into his habits and looked to pre-meditate a reverse hit off Jadeja. The left-arm spinner, reading Maxwell's initial movement, fired in a yorker on leg-stump. Such was the pace on the ball that before Maxwell could think about getting into better position, the leg pole was uprooted with him sitting in a reverse-hoick position. The shot selection at the time was appalling although not as much as his baffling selection this season.
MS Dhoni gets a grand welcome
T20 hasn't been Dhoni's strongest format but such has been his rousing form for Chennai Super Kings this season that his entry to the wicket is one of the most anticipated moments in any Chennai innings. On Friday, the skipper received a roaring welcome from the Delhi crowd as they brought out their mobile phones with flashlights on to welcome the former Indian skipper to the wicket.
The ground was lit by the light from the phones as Dhoni took his time to mark his stance and read the pitch. With a run chase on, Dhoni was the sole man standing between Delhi and victory and the grand welcome from the fans was an endearing gesture. Dhoni, however, could not unleash his glorious self on the night as he found the long-on fielder off a low full toss from Trent Boult.
Harshal Patel's whirlwind innings
Delhi Daredevils were ambling along to a below-par score when Harshal Patel walked in to bat. Not considered among the most dangerous of hitters in the tournament, Patel took just 16 balls to disband the belief and take Delhi Daredevils to a winning total.
A pick up shot for six off Bravo kickstarted his innings but it was his final over attack on the same bowler that had Chennai Super Kings gasping for air. In a 26-run final over, Patel tonked Bravo's slower ball, quicker ball and full toss for sixes to take Delhi from 136 to 162. He remained unbeaten on a 16-ball 36, playing one of the most game-changing cameos of the whole season.