Shikhar Dhawan made Chennai Super Kings pay a heavy price for some shoddy fielding as he slammed an unbeaten 101 (58b, 14×4, 1×6) to carry Delhi Capitals to a five-wicket win at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Saturday. CSK’s butterfingers dropped the opener four times as the side succumbed to its sixth defeat in the last eight matches even as DC went top of the table.
Despite Dhawan’s knock, the Capitals still needed 17 off the last over, but Axar Patel punished Ravindra Jadeja, slamming him for three sixes to seal the match with a ball to spare. Death-overs specialist Dwayne Bravo had one over left, but the West Indian had left the field for some treatment and Dhoni had to choose between Jadeja and Karn Sharma.
Chasing 180, DC lost Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane cheaply to Deepak Chahar, but Dhawan sent the CSK bowlers on a leather hunt, starting with Sam Curran, hitting him for two fours. Cashing in on the two reprieves he received when on 25 and 27, the Delhi batsman wasted no time in attacking Karn next, hitting him for two boundaries in the leggie’s first over. He brought up his fifty off 29 balls.
Dhoni spilled Dhawan while diving to his left off Bravo when on 50. The southpaw was dropped for the fourth time on 80 by Ambati Rayudu. In between these chances, the left-hander was at his fluent best, charging bowlers at will and unleashing his brute power, to record his maiden IPL century.
Earlier, Faf du Plessis’s half-century (58, 47b, 6×4, 2×6) followed by cameos from Rayudu (45 n.o., 25b, 1×4, 4×6) and Jadeja (33 n.o., 13b, 4×6) helped Chennai Super Kings post 179 for four.
du Plessis and Shane Watson (36) put on 87 runs for the second wicket, before Rayudu and Jadeja finished the innings on a strong note, slamming 67 runs in the final five overs. The South African innovated, using the scoops to pick up runs in the fine-leg area and coming up with some excellent pulls. But all of it was undone by a disastrous fielding effort.