Dhoni, Badrinath propel CSK to 176

Chennai batsman MS Dhoni in action during their IPL match against Delhi © Getty Images

 

By Jamie Alter

 

Chennai: May 12, 2011

 

A blazing 31-ball 63 from MS Dhoni and yet another fluent fifty from Subramaniam Badrinath pushed Chennai Super Kings to 176 against a butterfingered Delhi Daredevils at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. DD’s catching was particularly shoddy, and CSK took them to task with Dhoni and Badrinath fashioning a 96-run stand for the fourth wicket.

 

CSK’s preferred opening pair have averaged just a shade fewer than 30 this season, but tonight they failed to even get a start. Irfan Pathan got DD off to a good start with the wicket of Michael Hussey in the opening over, trapping him lbw with good seam movement. Suresh Raina walked out and was all at ease creaming four and six in his first four deliveries faced, but predictably came undone when Varun Aaron tested him with a short ball.

 

Vijay welcomed Ajit Agarkar with two effortless sixes in the fifth over, only to be dropped off consecutive deliveries. First James Hopes put down a tough chance at cover, and then Shahbaz Nadeem muffed a straightforward caught-and-bowled. However, he was unable to cash in and fell to a well-judged catch on the boundary when he attempted a third six to the legside.

 

Dhoni’s was a potentially game-changing innings. He began in frenetic manner, top-edging, lofting and steering his way to 15 from his first six deliveries, and then got stuck into Agarkar. At the other end Badrinath was proficient in driving down the ground and took on the fast bowlers in style. He too was given a reprieve, on 28, when Naman Ojha fluffed a stumping, and made DD pay.

 

Aaron had bowled three very tidy overs, but his fourth went for 13 as CSK braced for a final surge. The penultimate over, bowled by the hapless Agarkar, went for 20 with Dhoni and Badrinath each opened their shoulders. Dhoni lofted six over sweeper cover and Badrinath heaved over deep midwicket and steered past point to reach his half-century. Dhoni followed him to the landmark, though in 13 deliveries less, and pumped the final two balls of the innings for six as CSK looted 17 off Irfan. It had been a stirring turnaround in events after Dhoni arrived at the crease.

 

Brief Scores: CSK 176 for 4 in 20 overs (MS Dhoni 63*, Subramanian Badrinath 55, Murali Vijay 35; Varun Aaron 1 for 20) vs DD.

 

Full Scorecard

 

(Jamie Alter is a freelance cricket writer, having worked at ESPNcricinfo and All Sports Magazine. He is the author of two books, The History of World Cup Cricket and Field of Dreams: The Story of the Dr. DY Patil Sports Stadium. His twitter feed is @jamie_alter)