At one stage, the Chennai Super Kings while chasing 190 for a victory, looked like on being on course for an easy victory. Mathew Hayden’s blistering start had got the Chennai team away to 105 runs in the first ten overs, and a target of 84 looked eminently reachable. But Daniel Vettori’s amazing web of intrigue without really turning the ball a lot confounded most of the batsmen as the Super Kings kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Chennai was 156/4 in the 16th over with an even chance of winning it when Andrew Flintoff departed as he tried to send the ball to the stands. S. Badrinath followed soon after and with the asking rate increasing by the ball, it was left to Albie Morkel to score 15 runs off the last over to win it for Chennai. He got the strike after three balls only, and with 11 runs needed, he had to send most of the balls to the fence.
Dirk Nannes bowled two absolutely perfect full-ish deliveries, preventing Morkel from deriving any room to play his shots and that won the match for Delhi. Pradeep Sangwan and Vettori were the wreckers-in-chief for the Delhi DareDevils; the former going for only 28 runs off his four overs to scalp three, where as Vettori picking one less while conceding one more.
Earlier, despite the loss of two early wickets in the form of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag – 8/2 in two overs – Delhi was buffered by an inning to remember – first – by Tillakaratne Dilshan, who scored a 27-ball 50, and then by A.B. de Villiers. Batting with gay abandon, de Villiers seemed to have brought into the game, the form that had ensured the Man-of-the-Series award to him against the Aussies and smashed the bowling to all parts of the ground. >
In turn, he also brought about the first ever IPL century this year and ended with an unbeaten 105, coming off only 54 deliveries. He was dropped once by Morkel, but then he ensured that he made full use of it as Delhi ended their inning at 189/5 in the stipulated 20 overs.
L. Balaji was the pick of the Chennai bowlers with 3/19 off the four bowlers he bowled, but in the end, it was A.B. de Villiers’ century that was the difference between the two sides. He was suitably awarded the Man-of-the-Match award.