Watson, Dhoni fire CSK to 211/4
Pune, Apr 30 (PTI) Shane Watson and M S Dhoni smashed brutal half-centuries to power Chennai Super Kings to 211 for four against Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League here tonight.
Watson (78 off 40) was back to his brutal best after three low scores and shared a 102-run opening off 66 balls stand with Faf du Plessis (33) after surviving a close lbw call on the first ball of the match.
Dhoni (51* off 22) showed his devastating touch in the last five overs which produced 74 runs. It was also Dhoni's second fastest fifty in the IPL.
Delhi opted to field on a good batting wicket and Super Kings pounced on the opportunity.
Watson was unstoppable after Boult almost had him trapped in front of the stumps with a pacy inswinger at the start of the match. The visiting team took the DRS but the third umpire did not have conclusive evidence to overrule the not out call of the on-field umpire.
It was also a bit surprising that the tournament's leading run scorer Ambati Rayudu (41 off 24) did not open the innings with Watson.
However, the the Watson-Du Plessis duo produced the desired result for the Super Kings who raced to 100 in just 10.2 overs.
Watson, who hit a hundred earlier in the tournament, got going by depositing Liam Plunkett for two sixes in the fifth over that eventually leaked 20 runs.
Watson hammered as many as seven sixes with most of them coming straight or over square leg.
When the former Australian all-rounder departed, the dangerous combine of Rayudu and Dhoni got together in the 14th over.
The captain got into the act with successive sixes off Boult, one over mid-wicket and other other one from a bottom-handed jab over long on. The third one was a whip off Avesh Khan over square, almost going out of the ground. He ended up with five sixes and two fours.
Rayudu too made sure the big hits coming as he hit five fours and a six in his cameo. His fourth wicket stand of 79 with Dhoni came off just 36 balls.
The Super Kings was able to complete a third half century of the IPL-11 with a double off the final ball of the innings.
The Delhi bowlers were all over the place especially the experienced Boult and Plunkett who leaked 100 runs in seven overs.
Dhoni made as many four changes in the playing eleven, bringing in du Plessis, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi and young Kerala pacer KM Asif. Daredevils on the other hand did not make any changes after a much needed win against KKR at home