DR Smith Destroys Delhi
By Vishnu Prasad | ENS | Published: 05th May 2014 11:59 PM |
Some players are just made for the IPL! Take the case of Dwayne Smith. In 27 international T20 games for the West Indies, he has scored three half centuries with a personal best of 72. It took him just seven games to better that feat for the Chennai Super Kings.
Smith’s third half century of IPL-7, a scintillating 79 off just 51 balls, was enough to power Chennai to their sixth consecutive win of the tournament, as they beat Delhi Daredevils by eight wickets at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Monday. Smith, first in the company of Brendon McCullum and then with Suresh Raina, destroyed the Delhi bowling with some explosive hitting.
Delhi had sauntered to 178 for 5 after being put in to bat by MS Dhoni, and it looked a competitive total on paper. But their bowlers’ inability to take early wickets came back to haunt them again as
Chennai clinched in the match in the final over. Smith and McCullum started in ruthless fashion, putting on an opening stand of 82 in just 11 overs. Smith dealt in sixes hitting an astounding eight maximums in his innings, including three on a trot off a hapless Jayadev Unadkat, while McCullum happily played second-fiddle, rotating the strike and contributing the odd boundary. Raina, who replaced McCullum after the latter was caught by Murali Vijay off Laxmi Ratan Shukla, was a more assured partner for the Barbados-born player, matching in timing and technique, what Smith brought in brute strength.
The pair put on 86 from just 44 balls for the third wicket before Smith was caught on the ropes by Vijay off Wayne Parnell. Chennai needed 11 from eight balls at that stage and there was still time for some final-over heroics by Dhoni.
Earlier, Dinesh Karthik’s fifty and a late flourish at the end from JP Duminy and Kedar Jadhav rescued Delhi after a middle over collapse. Karthik, who came in after Quinton De Kock and Kevin Pietersen had been dismissed in quick succession, plunged straight into the rescue effort with state-mate Murali Vijay. The Tamil Nadu keeper played some innovative shots in his 51, including a scooped six off Ben Hilfenhaus that reminded one of some of AB de Villiers’ efforts the other day, while Vijay proved the ideal foil for his partner, rotating the strike and ensuring that the scoreboard kept ticking.
But all the good work looked to be undone when the middle-over demon came to haunt the Daredevils again. Karthik, Lakshmi Ratan Shukla and Vijay all departed in the space of nine balls, as the spinners looked to have done the trick for Chennai. Duminy and Jadhav though ensured that there was a sting left in the tail, putting on 58 for the sixth wicket.