DELHI: In the school of Chennai Super Kings cricket, they swear by a formula. Ten times six plus ten times 10 equals a winning total on a slow pitch. The corollary is, ten times six often begets ten times ten.
Yesterday, Super Kings followed that formula like front-benching geeks. They reached 60 for 1 in 10 overs, then switched gears to score 109 in the last 10 with Michael Hussey and MS Dhoni turning it on like only they can. The chase was killed by the time Virender Sehwag joined David Warner and Mahela Jayawardene back in the dugout. Delhi Daredevils have lost all of their six matches in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).
It was an all too familiar sight with Hussey back in the side and Super Kings biding their time at the start of the match, sizing up their prey.
Suresh Raina seemed to struggle to find his touch a bit, but they reached that preliminary 60 in 10 without much drama. Just like that Raina drove Umesh Yadav over cover in the 11th over, and Super Kings were on their way.
In the next over, when Hussey pulled Ajit Agarkar over midwicket for a six, his strike rate finally crossed a run a ball. Despite Raina’s wicket, the five overs immediately after the 10th went for 9, 14, 11, 10 and 12.
A bit of it had to do with Dhoni, who not only finally came out to bat at four, but came with the switch flicked on that told him he didn’t need to block at the start of the innings.
The first ball Dhoni faced he pulled disdainfully through midwicket for four, and you knew bad things were going to happen to bowlers. And then, horror of horrors, Agarkar, one of the best fielders among Indian quicks, dropped him at long-off. Dhoni would have gone for 17 off 10 had it been taken. That was also a period when Daredevils were trying to play games with that formula of ten times 10.
That Yadav over brought only seven, and in the next over Irfan Pathan conceded just four off the first five balls. Hussey, though, drilled the last one through long-off to reopen the flood gates. He went from 24 off 27 to 65 not out off 50. And Dhoni, by the time he played a dot ball, had reached 32 off 15, and would go on to add 12 off eight more.
The thing with Daredevils, though, is you can’t count them out, lest one of their big three has a crazy day with the bat. Haryana quick Mohit Sharma, coming back like Hussey, quickly put paid to that. First, he got a bottom edge from Warner, and then had Sehwag holing out to deep midwicket. In between, Chris Morris got Jayawardene lbw. After that, Dwayne Bravo kept taking catches and danced into the night.
Scores: Chennai Super Kings 169 for 4 (Hussey 65*, Dhoni 44) beat Delhi Daredevils 83 (Mohit Sharma 3-10, Ashwin 2-18) by 86 runs