New Delhi: Delhi Daredevils restored some pride with an upset 34-run win over the formidable Chennai Super Kings in a dead rubber of the Indian Premier League on Friday.
Vijay Shankar (36* off 29) and Harshal Patel (36* off 16) scripted Daredevils' recovery after a pedestrian performance from the top-order, helping the hosts reach 162 for five with an unbeaten 65-run stand off 32 balls.
Leg-spinners Amit Mishra (2/20) and Sandeep Lamichhane (1/21) then starred in an impressive bowling effort that restricted CSK to 128 for six. All-rounder Patel chipped in with the ball as well by taking the prized wicket of Ambati Rayudu (50 off 29).
It was Daredevils' fourth win of the season in 13 games. The already eliminated team has one more game to play on Sunday. The unexpected loss was CSK's fifth in 13 matches and they remain second on the points table.
CSK were cautious to begin with, collecting just 22 runs off the first five overs.
Rayudu cut loose in the following over, smashing pacer Avesh Khan for 22 runs courtesy three sixes and a four.
Rayudu, the team's leading run scorer with 585 runs at 48.75, maintained his rich vein of form with his third fifty of the season. He departed the very next ball to leave CSK at 70 for two in 10 overs, needing 93 off the last 60 balls.
Suresh Raina (15 off 18), dropped by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant on the first ball he faced, did not make it count as Nepal spinner Lamichhane had him caught at deep midwicket.
Skipper MS Dhoni (17 off 23) could not do the finishing job for his team which never really got going in the chase.
Earlier, Lungi Ngidi (2/14) broke the backbone of Delhi batting by removing Shreyas Iyer (19 off 22) and Pant (38 off 26) in the 11th over. Shankar and Patel lent some respectability to the total with a blistering partnership. The final flourish included a 26-run 20th over when Dwayne Bravo was hammered for four sixes.
It was an inconsequential game but a sizable number of Dhoni fans blended with the home team's supporters to make it a packed house.
RCB and Sunrisers chased down 180 plus target with ease in the previous two games at Kotla and expectedly the CSK skipper Dhoni had no hesitation in bowling first.
Delhi were sluggish at the start, mustering just 39 runs in the powerplay.
Prithvi Shaw (17 off 17) was out cheaply for the third game in a row after he played a loose stroke to be caught at long-on.
Iyer opened the innings with Shaw in Jason Roy's absence and Delhi skipper's innings too was a shaky one. The captain shared a 54-run stand for the second wicket with the in-form Pant but the South African pacer Ngidi removed them in the same over to leave Delhi at 81 for three.
Iyer was bowled while making room for a big shot while Pant mistimed a hit over midwicket to be caught at third man.
Delhi had lost two of their main batsmen shortly after Pant punished veteran Harbhajan Singh for two sixes and a four in the 10th over which leaked 17 runs. The momentum, the Delhi innings picked up from the Harbhajan over did not last long. Playing for pride after another sorry season, Delhi batsmen looked out of sorts.
Glenn Maxwell's disastrous run continued when he saw his stumps disturbed after attempting a reverse sweep off Ravindra Jadeja.
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Four-time winners Mumbai Indians, two-time champions Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and 2020 finalists Delhi Capitals were placed in the top-four when IPL was suspended in May due to COVID cases in its bio-bubble.
Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shardul Thakur, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran are part of the CSK squad which has already started training ahead of the IPL resuming 19 September.
Punjab Kings captain Rahul is averaging 66 after seven matches this year with a strike rate of 136. The IPL was suspended in May due to COVID-19 cases in its bubble and will resume on Sunday in the UAE.