Smith keeps Chennai on top

2014-05-05 20:36
Dwayne Smith (YouTube)
New Delhi - A magnificent 79 from Dwayne Smith proved to be the backbone for the Chennai Super Kings to solidify their position at the top of the Indian Premier League standings with an eight-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on Monday.

The supersport.com website reports that the opener smashed eight sixes and four fours in 51-ball knock, sharing partnerships of 82 and 86 with Brendon McCullum (32 off 35) and Suresh Raina (47 off 27) respectively as the visitors chased down the 179 victory target with two balls to spare.

It was a sixth consecutive win for Chennai, made all the more impressive considering the sizable victory target set up by Dinesh Karthik's 51 off 36 deliveries as well as handy contributions by Murali Vijay (35 off 30), JP Duminy (28 off 17) and Kedar Jadhav (29 off 18).

Having lost the toss and being asked to bat first, Proteas star Quinton de Kock (24) provided second-bottom Delhi with the flying start they so desperately needed as 34 came from the opening four overs.

The South African was especially harsh on the fourth over sent down by Ishwar Pandey, clubbing the bowler for two impressive sixes.

However, he was inexplicably dismissed the first ball of the fifth over as partner Vijay marveled at the excellent boundary fielding of Raina and Ravindra Jadeja rather than keep tabs on De Kock, who was sent back going for a third and run out by Mohit Sharma.

Kevin Pietersen fell for a golden duck when his off stump was flattened by Sharma two balls later, but Karthik then provided some spectacular impetus.

The 50 was raised in the eighth over, before the wicketkeeper began his assault with a flat six off Jadeja over deep midwicket.

He continued to attack the bowling with the half-century stand alongside Vijay raised in 38 balls, followed by the 100 up in the 13th over.

A drive through the covers for four took Karthik to his 50 in 35 balls, but he was out next delivery courtesy of a an excellent diving catch by Sharma, who threw himself to his left at square leg and held on to a beauty off Ben Hilfenhaus.

New man Luxmi Shukla fell to Ravi Ashwin without troubling the scorers, while Vijay picked out Faf du Plessis at long-on two balls later, Jadeja the bowler this time, as Delhi slumped to 120 for five.

It was then left to Duminy and Jadhav to take their side to a competitive total - the pair adding 58 in 5.4 overs to give the home side hope at the halfway stage.

Smith and McCullum made a flying start to the response, with the chase really finding gear in the fourth over as Jaydev Unadkat was dispatched for three consecutive sixes by the big-hitting West Indian.

The 50 came up in the seventh over, and even though Wayne Parnell had only gone for six in two overs, the runs were coming at the other end.

It was 69 for none at the halfway stage, with the breakthrough finally coming in the 12th over as McCullum picked out Vijay at long-on off Shukla.

But new man Raina settled in with equal ease, smashing two of his first three balls for boundaries.

And at the other end Smith continued to motor on freely, taking the Super Kings across 100 in the 13th over, followed by his own 50 in only 38 deliveries.

The 50 partnership came up in only 26 balls as Delhi were on the ropes with a 17-run Mohammed Shami over further denting their hopes.

A twist threatened when Smith finally fell with 11 still to get - the ball launched into orbit over bowler Parnell's head before falling into the hands of Vijay.

But MS Dhoni (12 off five) delivered a six and four in the final over to seal the win.


Delhi Daredevils: M Vijay, Q de Kock, KP Pietersen (captain), KD Karthik (wicketkeeper), JP Duminy, KM Jadhav, LR Shukla, WD Parnell, S Nadeem, Mohammed Shami, JD Unadkat

Chennai Super Kings: DR Smith, BB McCullum, SK Raina, F du Plessis, MS Dhoni (captain, wicketkeeper), M Manhas, RA Jadeja, R Ashwin, BW Hilfenhaus, IC Pandey, MM Sharma


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