IPL 2020: Dhawan roars against Chennai Super Kings
Opener scores his maiden century; Rabada fastest to 50 wickets
Opener Shikhar Dhawan carried the bat, quite literally, as the Delhi Capitals pulled off a heist over the Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah on Saturday night.
The stylish southpaw came up with his maiden IPL century as the Delhi Capitals scripted a thrilling five-wicket victory with a ball to spare at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Chasing a target of 180, Dhawan scored an unbeaten 101, while Axar Patel played a crucial hand, a five-ball 21, his three sixes sealing the contest for the Delhi Capitals.
Dhawan's previous best had been an unbeaten 63-ball 97 against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens, last season. Here, his knock came from 58 deliveries and was peppered with 14 boundaries and a six and it was the third hundred of the season after Kings XI Punjab duo KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.
The joust at the top continues with the Delhi Capitals re-taking the top spot from the Mumbai Indians, following their seventh win.
The Chennai Super Kings, meanwhile, were handed a sixth defeat and the second by the Delhi Capitals this season. The table toppers had beaten them by 44 runs in the first leg. They are sixth on the table.
Earlier, taking a cue from his illustrious countryman AB de Villiers, South African Faf du Plessis knocked a half-century to help the Chennai Super Kings post a decent total.
Du Plessis came up with his fourth half-century of the season and the 16th of his IPL career as the three-time champions put up 179 for four on the board.
After fellow opener and pinch-hitter Sam Curran was out for nought, off the third ball of the match, du Plessis went on to make 58 from 47 deliveries with the help of six boundaries and two sixes.
He and Shane Watson, who came in at one-down weaved together a partnership of 87 runs for the second wicket. But their innings went at a slow pace despite Watson cracking a 28-ball 36 that had six boundaries.
Ambati Rayudu, who remained unbeaten on 45 from 25 deliveries with four sixes and a lone boundary, added 22 with du Plessis for the third wicket and then 20 with skipper MS Dhoni.
Ravindra Jadeja then threw his bat around for an unbeaten 13-ball 33 that contained four sixes. His and Rayudu's unbroken partnership was worth 50 runs for the fifth wicket.
Fast bowler Anrich Nortje, who had cranked it up by bowling the quickest delivery in IPL history, the other night, returned with two scalps, while compatriot Kagiso Rabada took one.
Rabada went on to become the fastest to 50 wickets from 26 games with the previous record held by Kolkata Knight Riders' West Indian spinner Sunil Narine, who had got there in 32 matches.
The Delhi Capitals went in with the same playing XI, while the Chennai Super Kings made one change to their line-up by bringing back Kedhar Jadhav for Piyush Chawla.
The Delhi Capitals had an identical start to the Chennai Super Kings during the chase with Prithvi Shaw out second ball, being Deepak Chahar's bunny. The young opener tried to work an outswinger towards the on-side but got the leading edge and Chahar took a return catch to get him for the fifth time in six outings.
Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane then stitched together 26 for the second wicket. Rahane was to be Chahar's second victim after which Dhawan and his skipper Shreyas Iyer put on 68 for the third wicket.
Chennai Super Kings: 179-4 in 20 overs
(Faf du Plessis 58, Ambati Rayudu 45 not out, Shane Watson 36, Ravindra Jadeja 33 not out, Anrich Nortje 2-44) lost to Delhi Capitals: 185-5 in 19.5 overs
(Shikhar Dhawan 101 not out, Marcus Stoinis 24, Shreyas Iyer 23, Axar Patel 21 not out, Deepak Chahar 2-18) by 5 wickets.
Chennai Super Kings:
Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C) (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Karn Sharma.
Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer (C), Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Tushar Deshpande, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.