Shikhar Dhawan continued his sublime form and smacked his maiden Indian Premier League century to lead Delhi Capitals to a six-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings on Saturday.
Coming into the match with two back-to-back half centuries in the last two matches, the veteran Southpaw Dhawan led the Delhi chase from the outset after being dropped thrice in the game.
Chennai rode on a gritty finish from Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja to make an imposing 179-4 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The MS Dhoni-led side had a perfect start but couldn’t stop Dhawan from a ton, and ultimately Delhi from reaching 185-5 with one ball to spare.
Dhawan survived a caught behind appeal on 99 in the final ball of the penultimate over and completed his maiden century in the final ball.
Delhi, however, still had some anxious needing 17 runs off the final over from Jadeja. After a wide, Dhawan took a single off the first ball and Axar Patel hit consecutive sixes in the next two deliveries leaving three to win from last three.
A couple in the fourth ball tied the game and Patel finished off the game with another huge six condemning Chennai to their fourth defeat. Patel made an invaluable 21 off five deliveries.
Dhawan, dropped by Deepak Chahar, Dhoni and Rayudu, was unbeaten on 101 off 58 hitting 14 boundaries and a six.
Delhi once again climbed to the top of the table with 14 points from nine games with Mumbai Indians (12 points) pushed to second having played a game less. Chennai are unmoved at the sixth spot with six points from nine matches.
Delhi had the worst possible start losing Prithvi Shaw on the second ball and Ajinkya Rahane (eight) in the fourth over – both to Deepak Chahar – with just 26 runs on the board. Dhawan and skipper Shreyas Iyer (23) held the innings together with a 68-run partnership for the third wicket.
After Iyer’s departure, Dhawan and Marcus Stoinish (24) brought a crucial 43-run partnership from just 24 deliveries to put Delhi on top.
Earlier, Chennai had identical start losing Sam Curran in the third ball before Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis were involved in an 87-run partnership. Watson scored 36 off 28 with six hits to the fence.
Du Plessis got his fourth half century in the tournament and fell to compatriot Kagiso Rabada after making a 47-ball 58 hitting six boundaries and two fours.
Skipper Dhoni fell cheaply but Jadeja and Rayudu made sure Chennai put some big numbers on the board adding 50 runs from just 21 deliveries. Rayudu scored 45 off 25 hitting four sixes and a four.
Jadeja made the biggest impact stroking four sixes in his 13-ball cameo of 33. Anrich Nortje took 2-44 from four overs for Delhi.