Delhi Capitals needed 17 runs in the final over. Shikhar Dhawan was batting on 100 not out. And MS Dhoni brought Ravindra Jadeja to bowl the final over against two-left handers, helping raise quite a few eyebrows. His expert death bowler Dwayne Bravo, who had given away just 1 runs in their win a couple of nights ago in the 20th over, was nowhere to be seen.
Delhi Capitals crossed the finish line with ease despite Shikhar Dhawan scoring just a run in the last over as Axar Patel hit 3 huge sixes against Ravindra Jadeja. When social media was going berserk questioning MS Dhoni’s decision, the Chennai Super Kings captain, who cut a dejected figure at the post-match ceremony, said his strike bowler Bravo wasn’t fit and had gone into the dressing room well before the 20th over.
IPL 2020, DC vs CSK: Highlights |Report
“Bravo was not fit, he went out and was really not able to come back. That was the reason we had to bowl (Jadeja). The option was between Karn and Jaddu so I went ahead with Jaddu. Maybe not enough,” MS Dhoni said.
However, the last over was just a glimmer of hope for Chennai Super Kings who were poor in the field. They had dropped Shikhar Dhawan thrice — Deepak Chahar, MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayhudu even as the Delhi Capitals opener was in the form of his life.
The first drop came when Dhawan had made only 25. The second one came when Dhawan had just reached his fifty. The final one came when Dhawan was in his eighties. Dhawan made good use of the extra opportunities as he never allowed CSK bowlers to settle during their 180-run chase.
Shikhar Dhawan finished with his maiden IPL hundred and Axar’s late heroics propelled them to a five-wicket win. Delhi Capitals won with a ball to spare in the end.
MS Dhoni rued the drop catches that cost them the match against Delhi Capitals. “Shikhar’s wicket was important, we did drop him quite a few times. He’s somebody if he is batting, he’ll keep ticking the scoreboard. He’ll keep taking his chances. If he’s there on the crease, he’ll always maintain a good strike rate. I felt his wicket was crucial. Also there was difference between the first and second innings. The wicket behaved slightly better in the second innings, it came on slightly better which made it slightly easy for the batsmen.
“But overall, we can’t really take the credit away from Shikhar, he batted really well and was supported really well by the other batters,” Dhoni said.
CSK are rooted to the 7th spot with just 3 wins from 9 matches as they enter the must-win zone. On the other hand, DC moved back to the top spot with 14 points and one leg in the play-offs already.
This Post first appeared on “India Today”