JP Duminy’s first taste of leadership with the Delhi Daredevils ended in defeat despite a late blitz from Albie Morkel, as MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings won by one run in Chennai on Thursday night.
Another Morkel almost grabbed the headlines after Morne’s Man of the Match performance in Kolkata Knight Rider’s victory over Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, as brother Albie, who played against his former team, needed a six off the final ball to seal the victory for Delhi, and he came agonisingly close as his shot off the last ball bounced just short of the boundary.
Duminy skippering the Daredevils for the first time under the guidance of coach Gary Kirsten won the toss and put the Super Kings into bat first, and the hosts were dealt early blows with the loss of New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum and Suresh Raina for four each, before Dwayne Smith and Faf du Plessis impressed with a brisk 33-run stand.
That stand then came to an end as Smith was dismissed by Imran Tahir caught at deep midwicket for 34. Du Plessis was solid in his short stay at the crease. He perished at the start of the 13th over just after the team had posted 100 on the board; he made 32 from 24 balls.
That was the moment when DD put the skids on the CSK innings. Over the next 34 deliveries, not only did DD see the back of Ravindra Jadeja and the dangerous Dwayne Bravo, but they also conceded only 25 runs. Dhoni too found it difficult to find the boundaries until the last over of the innings when he punished Coulter-Nile for consecutive sixes, before his attempt for a third big hit landed in the hands of Mayank Agarwal at mid-off for 30.
CSK finished their allotted 20 overs at 150 for 7.
The experienced Ashish Nehra gave DD the early jitters when he picked up the wickets of CM Gautam, Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer in the first five overs. Reduced to 39 for 3, DD recovered through a 48-run partnership between Morkel and Kedar Jadhav. Just when one felt the pendulum was tilting in favour of the visitors, Mohit Sharma struck for CSK, dismissing Jadhav, caught at point for 20.
Yuvraj Singh, who was welcomed with a huge cheer from those in the stands, didn’t last too long; he scored nine from five deliveries before he miscued a pull which landed in the hands of Ishwar Pandey at midwicket. Duminy perished in the following over when he chopped one onto his stumps.
Morkel, who walked out to bat at number three, held his own throughout, but the South African just didn’t get enough support at the other end and couldn’t force the pace. Needing 19 off the final over, Morkel took it all the way to the last ball of the innings, but his side fell one short in the end. Morkel remained unbeaten on 73 off 55 balls.
Nehra was the pick of the CSK bowlers, and the fielders backed them well. Faf du Plessis’ catch to dismiss Shreyas Iyer and Suresh Raina’s catch to dismiss Imran Tahir were two standout efforts for the two-time champions.