Chennai: Virender Sehwag had lost the contest even before the match began at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai. His team management decided to rest Morne Morkel, the purple cap holder who can provide jitters to any batting line-up in the world. Delhi decided to play Sunny Gupta in place of injured Irfan Pathan, a decision that backfired.
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Making his debut in the Indian Premier League, Sunny Gupta was asked to bowl the first over which probably decided the result of the match. Murali Vijay shimmied down the track off the first ball to hit a boundary and it was something which he continued to do for the rest of the match. The right-hander went on to hit his second IPL ton (113 from 58 balls) and was run-out of the last ball of the innings followed by a standing ovation from his team-mates and the crowd.
Vijay and Hussey made the most of the inexperienced Delhi bowling attack and they scored 68 runs from the first 8 overs. Delhi got their first breakthrough in the 9th over when Hussey charged down the track nicking one to the keeper.
As his bowlers went for plenty, Sehwag brought himself to bowl the 11th over. It was again a decision which did not go his way as Vijay smashed him for two sixes and two boundaries. Viru didn’t bowl another over in the innings.
Suresh Raina (27 from 17) and MS Dhoni (23 from 10) accelerated the innings with some big blows. While Albie Morkel was dismissed for a first-ball-duck, towards the end, Dwayne Bravo (33 from 12 balls) once again made sure that Chennai posted a mammoth score. Vijay and Bravo scored 25 runs from the penultimate over bowled by Varun Aaron as Umesh Yadav bowled a good last over, not before Chennai had amassed 222 runs.
Sunny Gupta leaked 47 runs in three overs. Varun Aaron was milked for 63 runs in 4 overs which is the most runs conceded by any bowler in IPL history. For Delhi, Umesh Yadav was the pick of the bowlers as he went for 27 runs in 4 overs and also picked up a wicket.
As if dropping Morkel wasn’t enough, Sehwag took another decision that went against him. The ‘Sultan from Multan’ didn’t come to open the innings with David Warner, and Mahela Jayawardene was given the responsibility.
Warner (3 from 7 balls) who was struggling to find boundaries was once again caught at mid-off. Sehwag scored just 1 run from the six balls he faced and his poor run from the bat, of late, continued. Ross Taylor slogged two sixes off Jakati’s first over but he was dismissed by Bravo as he was caught while trying to clear long-on.
Wickets kept falling at regular intervals while Mahela Jayawardene continued to play some elegant strokes and he was bowled by Ashwin in the 15th over.
The Chennai team management had backed Murali Vijay in spite of his rough patches and he made them proud when it mattered most. The right-hander became the first Indian cricketer to have two IPL tons by his name. This is a record which is held by players like Chris Gayle, David Warner and Adam Gilchrist.
After winning 11 of their 16 league matches, it was a very disappointing end for the Delhi Daredevils who in the initial phase of the season were the favourites to win their maiden IPL title. Chennai Super Kings on the other hand, are now back in red-hot form and the final scheduled for Sunday, will definitely be a Clash of the Titans.