CSK crush Daredevils by 93 runs
Chennai Super Kings 177 for 7 (Raina 56, Dhoni 32, Unadkat 3-32) beat Delhi Daredevils 84 (Ashwin 2-3, Jadeja 2-18, I Pandey 2-23) by 93 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Chennai Super Kings crushed Delhi Daredevils by 93 runs in a thoroughly one-sided game in Abu Dhabi. Super Kings started steadily after choosing to bat, but Suresh Raina's busy fifty in the middle and a late surge catapulted them to 177. Their quicks tied Daredevils down with accurate swing bowling, and electric catching from Raina and Faf du Plessis made it harder. The middle order sank without a fight, and by the halfway stage of the chase, the match was as good as over. By the 16th over, Super Kings had wrapped up their biggest win in terms of runs.
Brendon McCullum had said that with such a powerful line-up, Super Kings would go hard right from the start. But they stuck to their tested approach of starting steady, keeping wickets in hand and exploding at the death. Super Kings were 34 for 1 after the end of the Powerplay and 65 for 1 after ten overs. They took 58 off the last four overs with swift contributions from MS Dhoni, du Plessis and Mithun Manhas.
Daredevils lost the services of Nathan Coulter-Nile three deliveries into the match, the fast bowler hobbling off after hurting his leg while sliding to stop the ball. To his credit, Dinesh Karthik still managed to keep Jaydev Unadkat and Mohammed Shami for the final four without suffering too much damage in the middle overs but led by Dhoni, Super Kings had too much firepower in store. Dhoni blitzed 32 off 15, almost smacking Unadkat flush on the head before the bowler somehow scrambled to avoid a fearsome straight hit.
Raina ensured Super Kings did not stall before the late assault. He did not rely too much on the boundaries but when the chance came, he did hit a few, taking the part-time offspin of M Vijay for three fours in an over.
Raina was also to start Daredevils' downfall. Ishwar Pandey and Ben Hilfenhaus were probing with their outswingers, and when Mayank Agarwal tried to break free with an attempted chip over cover, Raina made ground to snap up the mishit.
With Pandey bowling a disciplined full spell on the trot and Mohit Sharma providing no release, Vijay and Manoj Tiwary stuck to Agarwal's approach. Both fell to spectacular, running takes by du Plessis at mid-off.
Daredevils were 17 for 3 in the fifth over, and were going nowhere from there. Everything that Super Kings tried worked even as Karthik hung around in vain. Dwayne Smith trotted in for his first ball in the ninth over and caught JP Duminy plumb in front. Hilfenhaus had Ross Taylor caught behind as just reward for his away swing.
At 50 for 5 in the tenth over and Coulter-Nile unavailable, Daredevils needed a miracle from the last batting pair of Karthik and Jimmy Neesham. Instead, R Ashwin hit his Tamil Nadu team-mate's middle stump with his first ball in the 13th over, and along with Ravindra Jadeja, ran through whatever remained of the Daredevils line-up.
Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo