Two time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) managed to sneak home in their first match of the IPL 8 against Delhi Daredevils (DD) by 1 run in spite of Albie Morkel’s blistering knock of 73 off just 55 balls that entertained the large crowd at Chepauk.
Chasing a competitive target of 151, Delhi Daredevils got off to a bad start as both their openers CM Gautam and Mayank Aggarwal played unnecessary shots in the third over of the innings and gifted away their wicket to Ashish Nehra. Debutant Shreyas Iyer also didn’t last long as he played a rash shot to become Nehra’s third victim. Morkel and Kedhar Jadhav then steadied the ship with their 48-run partnership before CSK bowlers took 3 wickets including that of Yuvraj Singh to snare DD’s hopes of sealing a victory. But Morkel kept going and with 14 runs required off the last 3 balls, the left-handed batsman hit a six and ran two on the next 2 balls to take his team just six runs away from a win. Unfortunately, his last shot went for a boundary denying his team a much-needed victory.
Earlier in the day, Chennai Super Kings got off to a flier as Dwayne Smith smacked Albie Morkel for four 4s in the first over of the innings before Nathan Coulter-Nile struck twice in a space of 18 balls to get rid of Brendon McCullum and Suresh Raina. With 38/2 in 4 overs, Faf du Plessis teamed up with Smith at the crease and the duo put on a 33-run partnership before Smith was dismissed by leggie Imran Tahir caught by Coulter Nile for a 31 ball 34.
Tahir and Indian hopeful Amit Mishra then piled on the pressure on CSK batsmen and in the anxiety to up the scoring rate,du Plessis, who looked good for his 32, gave away his wicket to JP Duminy. Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo soon followed du Plessis, leaving CSK reeling at 120/6 in 17 overs. Skipper MS Dhoni, who found it difficult to hit big blows early on, ran hard to convert 1s into 2s in the next two overs before hitting two colossal sixes in the last over of the innings and taking team’s total to 150. Coulter-Nile bowled the best for Delhi Daredevils and he finished with the figures of 3-30 in his 4 overs.