On Monday, Shimron Hetmyer kept his cool and bowled some beautiful strokes under duress to lead Delhi Capitals to a three-wicket triumph over Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League’s battle for second place. With 28 runs needed from the final three overs to reach the 137-run goal, the Guyanese scored 12 runs off Dwayne Bravo and then 10 runs off pacer Josh Hazlewood to reduce the equation to six runs in six balls. Despite losing Axar Patel in the final over, DC finished with two balls to spare. Hetmyer made a critical 28 off 18 balls, including a crucial six in the penultimate over, to remain unbeaten.
Despite Ambati Rayudu’s 43-ball 55 not out, Delhi Capitals bowlers restricted Chennai Super Kings to 136 for five.
To start the DC innings, the dazzling Prithvi Shaw hammered three boundaries in seven balls, but the Mumbaikar threw his wicket away when he failed to navigate Deepak Chahar’s extra bounce, and Faf du Plessis sprinted backwards from mid-off to make the catch.
Josh Hazlewood bowled a tight fourth over, allowing only three runs, but Shikhar Dhawan (39 off 35 balls) clobbered Chahar for two sixes and as many fours in the fifth over to score 21 runs. When Shreyas Iyer (2) couldn’t complete a pull shot, Hazlewood cut short Shreyas Iyer’s (2) brief time in the middle. When DC skipper Ravindra Jadeja tried to sweep a faster delivery from the left-arm spinner, Rishabh Pant (15) was sent back. As DC needed 53 off 54 balls, debutant Ripal Patel smashed two fours, but Jadeja came back to beat the new man from Gujarat.
DC were in trouble at 99 for six at the conclusion of the 15th over when Dhawan, three balls after having a decision against him reversed through a review, played Shardul Thakur to cover in a soft dismissal. Thakur’s stats of 2/13 in four overs were superb, while Jadeja’s were 2/28.
K Gowtham, a substitute fielder, dropped Shimron Hetmyer at a vital point in the game, and the ball went past the ropes instead. Rayudu had earlier achieved his fifty when he chopped Anrich Nortje over point for a boundary after a six over deep extra over in the 19th over, from which CSK had scored 14 runs. Avesh Khan, on the other hand, produced a magnificent final over in which he surrendered only four runs while dismissing Mahendra Singh Dhoni (18). During his time in the middle, Rayudu hit five fours and two sixes.
A big portion of DC’s bowling effort was a far cry from pacer Nortje’s disastrous first over, in which he gave up 16 runs on a leg bye and a bye that Rishabh Pant couldn’t get his hands on despite a diving attempt.
Ruturaj Gaikwad was called out lbw in the interim, but the judgement was overturned after the batsman appealed after TV replays revealed the ball had missed his leg stump.
CSK sped to 26 in in two overs against Avesh Khan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, thanks to two boundaries on either side of the wicket from Faf du Plessis. There was swing available, but DC’s bowlers couldn’t quite get their act together until left-arm spinner Axar Patel (2/18) struck when du Plessis’ attempted pull shot was caught by a diving Shreyas Iyer at deep mid-wicket.
Gaikwad greeted Kagiso Rabada with a straight drive down the ground, even as Robin Uthappa, who was filling in for Suresh Raina, walked into the middle.
In the fifth over, Nortje dismissed Gaikwad as the batsman failed to connect his pull shot, allowing Ravichandran Ashwin to execute a clean carom.