Three sixes in the final over saw Delhi beat Chennai with just a ball to spare and climb to the summit of the Indian T20 League standings:
Here are the key talking points from the contest:
Dhawan he’s been waiting for
Thrice in his career, opener Shikhar Dhawan has been left stranded unbeaten in his 90s, but the veteran opener finally managed to get over that hump and score his maiden Indian T20 League century in a match-winning cause for Delhi. Dhawan scored 101 off 58 balls, over half of his team’s total, and guided his team to a nail-biting win in the final over. Over the last three matches, Dhawan has scored 227 runs and has been dismissed only once, peaking just in time as the season entered its business end.
Faf's fabulous run continues
In what has been a disastrous campaign for Chennai, opener Faf Du Plessis' form has been a rare silver lining, as the South African opener scored his fourth fifty in nine matches, scoring 58 off 47 balls, anchoring the innings during his stay at the crease. The opener has now scored 365 runs and is just 31 runs shy of his most prolific season in the league as he continues his personal bid for the Orange Cap.
Axar's amazing all-round show
In a match where bowlers struggled to keep the opposition batsmen at bay, all-rounder Axar Patel bowled an incredible spell, conceding just 23 runs in his quota of four. With 17 needed off the last over and centurion Shikhar Dhawan at the non-striker’s end, most No. 7 batsmen would have taken a single and allowed the in-form opener to finish the job. However, Patel decided to end the game on his own, smashing three sixes to finish the contest and guiding his side to a sensational win with just a delivery left in the contest. While Dhawan took all the plaudits for his century, Axar's all-round show was what helped Delhi emerge victorious on the night.
What next for Chennai?
Chennai set the game up beautifully, leaving Delhi 17 to get off the last over and death specialist Dwayne Bravo to bowl it, but an injury to the West Indian meant that it was spinner Ravindra Jadeja who was left to bowl the final over and the all-rounder couldn’t stop Delhi from scoring the winning runs. Such has been the story of the season for Chennai. Injuries to key players and coming out on the wrong end of evenly contested matches mean their chances of making it to the playoffs continue to dwindle. However, they trail fourth-placed Kolkata by just two points, having played a game more and could still finish in the top four provided they win at least four of their remaining five matches. Chennai still have their destiny in their own hands, but can they overturn this slump? That remains to be seen.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com / Indian T20 League