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AB De Villiers masterclass ensures Delhi Daredevils win


AB De VilliersOn a pitch that look like a belter, Virender Sehwag won the toss and had no faltering in batting first.

Chennai Super Kings had an unchanged side, while Delhi made one change, but not the likely one. Ashish Nehra came in for Yo Mahesh, while there was still no sign of Glenn McGrath - who had the 4th best economy rate in last year's IPL.
Lakshmipathy Balaji gave Chennai a dream start by take away the dangerous Gautam Gambhir off the first ball of the match, when he slowly shouldered arms to a ball that caught a feather touch on the way to Dhoni. The next over, the second half of the dream opening pair also gone, when Sehwag top edged a pull to Albie Morkel at mid-on, and suddenly Delhi's middle order was exposed.

DilshanHowever, Delhi fans needn't have fright. In Dilshan and AB De Villiers, the Delhi Daredevils found men who were upto the challenge. Dilshan was leading initially, free stroking his way to 50 off 24 balls, but he chop immediately after. De Villiers however, picked up from where Dilshan left off, and then moved into a region of his own. He got some hold from Dinesh Karthik, and then in a dramatic partnership with Manoj Tiwary, he made 65 off the 74 runs they scored. His masterclass ensured that Delhi ended up at an impressive 189 for 5 - the highest total of IPL 2009 so far.

However, when you have a batting lineup that has Hayden, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Andrew Flintoff, Albie Morkel and Badrinath, no total can be measured safe, and Chennai came out intending to prove just that. Matthew Hayden - who the Australian selectors must badly be thinking of calling out of retirement - blazed away to 50 off 22 balls - thereby equaling his own record set in his previous match for the fastest 50 of the tournament. At the halfway stage Chennai were very well placed at a 106 for 2 wickets, with Suresh Raina and Dhoni at the crease. Even though Dhoni fell soon after, Chennai looked on course and when they wanted 51 off 35 balls with Albie Morkel and Andrew Flintoff at the crease, they looked like favorites to win.

Matthew HaydenBut some excellent bowling at the death by Ashish Nehra, Avishkar Salvi and the ever reliable Daniel Vettori, ensured that Chennai's runs were strangled, which led to suicidal run-outs and manufactured shots that ended up in the hands of fielders.

Eventually Chennai fell 9 runs short, close enough to sound a warning to other teams that no total is past their reach, but far enough to give Delhi the psychological edge and possibly suppose the mantle of the front-runner for the tournament.
Man of the Match : AB De Villiers


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