IPL: Watson, Dhoni lift CSK to 211/4

Pune: Openers Shane Watson (78) and Faf du Plessis (33) provided a perfect start before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (51 not out) and Ambati Rayudu (41 not out) finished the proceedings in style to power Chennai Super Kings to 211/4 against Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Monday.

Dhoni and Rayudu were at their destructive best as the duo hammered Delhi bowlers towards the end of the innings and accumulated 79 runs in six overs.

Chennai got off to a flying start as openers Watson and du Plessis slammed the Delhi bowlers all around the park. The two took Chennai past the 100-run mark in the 11th over.

While Watson hammered the bowlers, du Plessis rotated the strike. On occasions the South African player also went for the big shots.

The partnership was broken by medium pacer Vijay Shankar, who got rid of du Plessis in the fifth ball of the 11th over. His 33-ball knock was laced with three boundaries and one six.

After two balls, Suresh Raina (1) also departed. The Uttar Pradesh batsman was bowled by off-spinner Glenn Maxwell. At that time the scoreboard was reading 103/2.

In the 14th over, while trying to pace up the innings, Watson, who was clearing fences at will, mistimed his shot off veteran leg-spinner Amit Mishra and was caught by Liam Plunkett. His 40-ball innings comprised four boundaries and seven sixes.

New batsmen Rayudu and Dhoni then launched the counter attack. Rayudu, who was demoted to fourth spot, initially gave the strike to Dhoni and the Ranchi stumper milked the bowlers. Soon Rayudu also joined the party.

In the 19th over, Delhi got the chance to stop the Dhoni juggernaut as Avesh delivered a short ball and Dhoni pulled it aerially to deep mid-wicket but Munro dropped it. In the same over, Dhoni slammed a 108-metre six, the second longest of this year’s tournament.

In the last over, Rayudu got run out but Dhoni managed to collect 13 runs.

Delhi medium pacers Boult, Shankar and Plunkett proved expensive.

Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings: 211/4 (Shane Watson 78, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 51; Glenn Maxwell 1/5, Amit Mishra 1/30) vs Delhi Daredevils.