Rishabh Pant couldn’t have asked for a better start to his tenure as Delhi Capitals skipper, hitting the winning runs with eight balls to spare as his side cruised past the Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium.
Having won the toss and elected to bowl, the Capitals new-ball pair set the tone early. Avesh Khan (2-23 off 4 overs) trapped Faf du Plessis (0) lbw in the second over, and Chris Woakes (2-18 off 3) had Ruturaj Gaikwad (5) caught at first slip in the third, leaving CSK reeling at 2-7.
Moeen Ali (36 off 24 balls) and Suresh Raina (54 off 36) put on a 53-run partnership as they went about rebuilding the innings, combining caution with flair.
Ali took a liking to the bowling of Ravi Ashwin (1-47 off 4), dining out before being undone by an audacious reverse sweep.
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Ambati Rayudu (23 off 16) provided handy support to Raina, who continued to muscle the ball to the boundary until he was run out, courtesy of a Ravindra Jadeja and Avesh Khan mid-pitch collision.
Jadeja (26no off 17) and Sam Curran (34 off 15) produced some late-innings fireworks as they lifted CSK to 7-188, Sam even taking his brother Tom Curran (1-40 off 4) for 16 runs in three balls.
The total would prove too little as Delhi’s dynamic opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan (85 off 54) and Prithvi Shaw (72 off 38) found the rope effortlessly.
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The pair putting on a blistering 138-run first-wicket stand, but it didn’t come without its flaws.
In his ruthless onslaught Shaw was given not one but two lives as Mitchell Santner and Gaikwad both put him down off the bowling of Moeen Ali.
It would take Ali himself to hold a catch off the bowling of Dwayne Bravo (1-28 off 4) to bring Shaw’s innings to an end, although the damage had already been done.
Dhawan got inventive to maintain his scoring, thrice walking outside off and paddling the ball to the leg-side boundary before the tactic proved his downfall as Shardul Thakur (2-53 off 3.4) had him lbw.
Pant (15no off 12) and Marcus Stoinis (14 off 9) guided the Capital’s to victory, who will be looking to go one-step further in 2021 after last season’s grand final defeat.