An excellent half-century from Devon Conway (87 off 49) followed by a brilliant bowling effort by Moeen Ali (3/13) led Chennai Super Kings to a convincing 91-run win over Delhi Capitals in the 55th match of the IPL 2022 at the Dr. D.Y. Patil Stadium, here on Sunday. This was CSK's fourth win in the ongoing IPL season and they moved to the 8th spot, going above KKR on net run rate.
The win also kept CSK alive for playoff contention, even though their road to the final four remains dependent on a huge slice of luck. Conway's brilliant innings powered Chennai Super Kings to 208/6 in 20 overs. Apart from Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad (41 off 33) and Shivam Dube (32 off 19) also made vital contributions with the bat for CSK. Lower down the order, M.S. Dhoni (21 off 8) and Moeen Ali (9 off 4) gave the finishing touches to Chennai's innings. Chasing a huge target, Delhi lost the wicket of K.S. Bharat (8) in the 2nd over of the innings.
However, his opening partner David Warner dealt in boundaries and sixes to keep the run rate intact. With runs flowing from Warner's bat, CSK skipper Dhoni brought Maheesh Theekshana and the spinner dismissed the Australian for 19, with the opener being struck on his back thigh after missing a reverse pull. But, Rishabh Pant scored three fours in the same over while Simarjeet was hit for a six by Marsh and a four by Pant as DC ended the powerplay with 59 on the board. However, Moeen Ali turned the tide for CSK. Marsh was Moeen's first wicket as the Australian miscued a slog to long-on and in his next over Pant chopped his delivery onto the stumps while Ripal Patel holed out to deep midwicket as DC slipped to 81 for 5 at the end of the 10th over.
It soon became 85 for 7 as Mukesh bowled Axar Patel, who attempted to play a drive while DC's final hope -- Rovman Powell -- was caught behind in the same over. From there on, CSK took firm control of the game. Shardul and Kuldeep Yadav batted for 27 deliveries together but they could only manage 14 in their partnership. Barring a few attractive shots from Thakur when it was too late, there was nothing more from Delhi in the batting in the last few overs. Dwayne Bravo picked the wickets of Thakur and Khaleel as Delhi were bowled out for 117 in 17.4 overs, losing by a huge margin of 91 runs. Moeen Ali (3/13) was the star performer with the ball for CSK while Dwayne Bravo (2/24), Mukesh Choudhary (2/22), Simarjeet Singh (2/27), and Maheesh Theekshana (1/29) also picked crucial wickets.
Earlier, put in to bat, openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway gave CSK a flying start. The duo took their time to settle down and were watchful for the first four overs as Chennai were 29/0. However, in the next two overs, they freed their arms. Between them, Conway was the more aggressive and he took Delhi bowlers to the cleaners and took CSK to 57 in the powerplay. Even after the powerplay, Conway continued his aggressive approach and played some glorious shots, especially against Delhi Capitals' best bowler -- Kuldeep Yadav, racing to his third-successive half-century in IPL 2022 in just 27 deliveries.
Gaikwad also complimented the Kiwi batter well from the other end as Chennai reached the three-figure mark in 10 overs. It was Anrich Nortje, who dismissed Ruturaj (41 off 33) to break the 110-run opening stand and give some respite to Delhi. Shivam Dube, who came to bat next, wasn't able to find his timing and played a few dot deliveries, which slowed down CSK's run rate a little. However, once Dube found his rhythm, he smashed a few big sixes to up the run rate while Conway was playing second fiddle during those overs. With only four overs to go, Conway tried to up the ante but he couldn't find the timing and edged the ball for Rishabh Pant behind the wickets.
The wicket brought Ambati Rayudu to the crease and he struggled for the most part of his innings. Rayudu's struggle also put pressure on Shivam Dube, who tried to hit a Mitchell Marsh delivery for a six but found Warner at the boundary line. With 17 balls to go, skipper Dhoni walked in to bat and hit Marsh for a six and boundary to give a push to CSK's innings. Moeen (9) and Uthappa (0), who came to bat after Rayudu's (5) wicket, fell in quick succession in the last over of the innings but Dhoni's cameo took CSK to 208. Anrich Nortje (3/42), Khaleel Ahmed (2/28), and Mitchell Marsh (1/34) were the wicket-takers for Delhi. Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 208/6 in 20 overs (Devon Conway 87, Ruturaj Gaikwad 41; Anrich Nortje 3/42, Khaleel Ahmed 2/28) lost to Delhi Capitals 117 all out in 17.4 overs (Mitchell Marsh 25, Rishabh Pant 21; Moeen Ali 3/13) by 91 runs.