Chennai: Skipper MS Dhoni’s prowess in the slog overs was on display yet again while home spinners bamboozled the Delhi Capitals batsmen as Chennai Super Kings prevailed in the IPL battle for top spot with a thumping 80-run win, here Wednesday. It was Suresh Raina who struck a fighting 59 off 37 balls to prepare the road for revival following a slow start and Dhoni (unbeaten 44 off 22) provided the late flourish, ending the innings in style with two sixes off Trent Boult. After making just 27 runs in Powerplay overs, the hosts eventually put on board a fighting 179 for four and dismissed Capitals for just 99 in 16.2 over to snatch the top spot from the visitors.
Capitals suffered a surprise batting collapse after being consistent this season. They were out of the game after losing half the batsmen by 11th over and ended up suffering their worst defeat. It was also their lowest total of the season. Chennai Super Kings, who now sit atop the table with 18 points, are now sure to end in top-2, ensuring that they will have two shots at making the summit clash. Mumbai Indians is only team which can displace Capitals (16 points) from second place if they win their next two games and Delhi lose their last.
Delhi Capitals had hoped that dew would come in while batting second but Chennai spinners bamboozled them from the word go, never allowing them to settle. South African spinner Imran Tahir (4/12) and Ravindra Jadeja (3/9) tore apart the middle order, sharing seven wickets between them. Dhoni’s quick hands were at it again as he effected two lightening fast stumpings, to dismiss skipper Shreyas Iyer (44) and dangerous Chris Morris (0). —PTI