The much talked about Mongoose bat made a stinging impact at the Ferozshah Kotla, as Matthew Hayden used it to devastating effect against the Delhi Daredevils. Being set a highly competitive 186, courtesy yet another special effort by Virender Sehwag (74), the Chennai Super Kings got home with little trouble as Haydos used the long handle to great effect in true sense of the word. Stand-in skipper Suresh Raina contributed a crucial, unbeaten 49 to see the side home. But, it was undoubtedly the big-hitting Hayden’s knock of 93 that made the major difference.
The Australian’s splendid innings came off just 43 balls and was punctuated with nine fours and featured an almost unbelievable seven sixes. All the bowlers came in for massive punishment at the hands of Hayden except the ever-dependable Dirk Nannes, who ended with figures of 1/18 from his quota of four overs. From among the rest, Umesh Yadav was spanked for 38, Pradeep Sangwan for 46 and Rajat Bhatia went for as many as 31 from his two overs.
Even when stand-in skipper Dinesh Karthik turned to spin, things didn’t get any better. Hayden launched both Amit Mishra and Tillakaratne Dilshan regularly over the top. And, when he was finally dismissed for 93, captain Raina took over. With no pressure of scoring quickly, he and Murali Vijay, who played a couple of significant lofted shots after the big hitters like Albie Morkel and Justin Kemp fell cheaply, easily guided Chennai to victory.
While both teams missed their regular captains, it was Delhi who had to pay heavily for the loss of Gautam Gambhir. In his absence, only Virender Sehwag could make a noteworthy impact. Though Mithun Manhas (32) and Rajat Bhatia (21 not out) did their best towards the end of the innings, the failure of their middle-order haunted the Daredevils. Also, they seem to be desperately missing the services of the experienced Ashish Nehra.
Without him, Nannes has had to fight a lone battle with the ball in hand. In contrast, Hayden and Raina ensured that they more than made up for MS Dhoni’s absence, at least for this game. And, they would like to continue in the same vein until the skipper is totally fit to take the field.
For Delhi, they would like to see marked improvements in their fielding as well, apart from their bowling. The home side for the match missed a number of run out opportunities and even dropped a couple of catches, which did cost them. Had they hung on to some, who knows the result could have been different or at least the game would have been a lot more competitive in the second half, when Hayden was literally decimating the bowling.
Also, they would like see better performances from the likes of David Warner and, in particular, Dilshan whose lack of form has been hurting them big time. A few runs from stand-in captain Karthik would also help. It is still early days in the tournament, but two indifferent performances in consecutive games doesn’t augur well for the Daredevils.
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