New Delhi: Chennai Super Kings today inflicted a crushing 86-run defeat on Delhi Daredevils, handing out the sixth consecutive loss to the home team whose miseries show no signs of ending, with a pathetic batting display by the top and middle order in their Pepsi Indian Premier League match here.
On the other hand, Chennai Super Kings, desperate to get back to their winning ways, capitalised on some ineffective bowling by Delhi Daredevils to put up a challenging score of 169 for four on the back of a scintillating 65 not out by veteran Mike Hussey and swashbuckling innings by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (23-ball 44).
Daredevils suffered the ignominy of being bowled out for 83 inside 18 overs overs and it became the season`s lowest total.
Delhi Daredevils` miseries compounded as unheralded medium pacer Mohit Sharma bowled an impressive opening spell in which he removed David Warner and Virender Sehwag, literally shutting the match out for the hosts.
Sharma capped off an impressive bowling figure of three for 10.
Theoretically a possibility remains for qualification in the knock-out but based on current performance, it will be a great achievement if Delhi can avoid ending at the bottom of the heap, which they are in now.
Kedar Jadhav`s 28-ball 31 was the lone bright spot as the other batsmen hardly showed any stomach for putting up a fight.
That CSK bowlers maintained a disciplined line throughout made it even tougher for the home team batsmen to break the shackles.
There were no significant partnerships as most of the batsmen were out playing some atrocious shots.
Warner (1) was played on trying to go for a cut shot while Sehwag (17) mistimed a pull shot to hole out in the deep.
Earlier, Mike Hussey struck an unbeaten half-century while skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni cashed in on a dropped chance to smash his way to a 23-ball 44 as Chennai Super Kings amassed 169 for four against the Daredevils.
Hussey carried his bat through the innings with a well-crafted 50-ball 66, which was laced with six fours and two sixes, while Suresh Raina (30) contributed up front as the CSK top-order entertained the packed crowd at the Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium.
The last five overs yielded 54 runs as Delhi skipper Mahela Jayawardene`s ploy to keep rotating his bowlers failed.
Electing to bat, Chennai Super Kings were off to a good start, courtesy openers Murali Vijay and Hussey. Both went about their business in style with Vijay smacking two fours off Umesh Yadav in his first over.
South African pacer Morne Morkel broke the 30-run opening wicket stand when he had Vijay trapped in front for 18.
Raina made his intentions clear from the outset, driving the very first delivery he faced from Morkel through the covers.
Chennai Super Kings raced to 39 for one at the end of mandatory power play.
But what followed, to the surprise of many, was Jayawardene`s decision to bring Virender Sehwag into the attack.
Sehwag, rolling his arms over for the first time in a long while, drew the loudest applause from the crowd as he looked at ease while bowling his off-breaks.
The Delhi pacers kept it quiet for a while before Raina broke the shackles with two consecutive fours off Yadav, who returned for his second spell, in the 11th over.
Hussey, too, followed suit as he clobbered Ajit Agarkar for a four and a six over mid-wicket to raise the 50-run partnership for the second wicket.
Dhoni promoted himself up the order, ahead of Subramaniam Badrinath, and the captain justified the move as he launched an all-out attack on the Delhi bowlers.
Jayawardene kept on rotating his bowlers but to no avail as Dhoni and Hussey put on display their vast repertoire of stroke-play.
If the lacklustre display by the Delhi bowlers was not enough, the miseries were further compounded by their butter-fingered fielders.
Dhoni was dropped by Agarkar at long-off off Yadav, when he was on 19. Agarkar misjudged the catch completely as he was left with no other option but to shake his head in disbelief.
Hussey and Dhoni brought together the 50-run partnership for the third wicket in just 27 balls as the overs between 13-18 yielded 56 runs for CSK.
Both had saved the best for Morkel as the South African paceman was clobbered for three fours and a six for 19 runs in his last over.
Dhoni was dismissed in the last over of the innings but by then, he had done his job.