In Tuesday's game, basement sides Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians fight for survival
IPL 2018: Shane Watson puts Chennai Super Kings total beyond Delhi Daredevils' reach
Chennai Super Kings put a dent to any hopes Delhi Daredevils supporters may have had of a honeymoon period after the visitors were beaten by 13 runs in their Indian Premier League (IPL) game on Monday night.
Delhi began a new era last week after Shreyas Iyer replaced Gautam Gambhir as captain following a run of poor results that has seen the side rooted to the bottom of the table this season. Shreyas responded by scoring 93 on Friday to lead the Daredevils to a 55-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders.
But they found a more formidable opponent in the Super Kings, who are playing their home games at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in the outskirts of Pune after being forced to move out of Chennai due to security concerns.
After Shreyas won the toss and elected to field, Chennai posted 211-4 in their 20 overs, with Shane Watson (78) putting on a 102-run stand with fellow opener Faf du Plessis (33).
The two-time champions continued to dominate despite Suresh Raina’s dismissal for 1 as Ambati Rayudu (41) and captain MS Dhoni (51 not out) kept their good form going to put together a 79-run stand for the fourth wicket.
The Daredevils made a less-than-ideal start to their chase, losing four quick wickets. But Rishabh Pant (79) and Vijay Shankar (54 not out) put on 88 runs together to bring team back into the game. In the end, however, the Daredevils were left stranded at 198-5 and remain rooted to the basement of the IPL table.
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Two of the league’s other strugglers – Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians – face off at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday with both sides on two wins and four points from seven games.
Mumbai are playing away from home, but they will be encouraged by the fact they recently beat Chennai on the road. They will, however, be worried by captain Rohit Sharma’s lack of runs in the IPL this term – 196 in seven innings – perhaps as a result of a long season with the Indian team.
Even as the India vice-captain has struggled, his national team captain has enjoyed much better returns with the bat in IPL 2018.
Virat Kohli, who leads Bangalore, has managed 317 runs in as many innings. But he is not a happy man given the struggles of his fellow batsmen.
Bangalore’s biggest letdown, however, has been their bowling. If they perform on Monday the way they did against Chennai last week, Mumbai may as well win.