IPL 2024: Khaleel, Mukesh Kumar share five wickets as Delhi Capitals beat CSK by 20 runs


Visakhapatnam, April 1 (IANS) Delhi Capitals pacers Khaleel Ahmed (2-21) and Mukesh Kumar (3-21) bowled brilliant spells at the start and in the middle of the innings to restrict defending champions Chennai Super Kings to 171/6 in 20 overs despite a magical 16-ball 37 not out by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and won the match by 20 runs to register their first win of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 here on Sunday.

Khaleel, who fell out of favour of the national selectors a few years ago but did well in the domestic circuit, rattled CSK by claiming the first two wickets by sending back openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Rachin Ravindra to reduce CSK to 7/2 in Match 13 at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium. Khaleel ended with 2-21, bowling in the Power-play.

Mukesh Kumar continued to add to Chennai Super Kings’ woes as he claimed two wickets off successive deliveries as he finished with 3-21 in three overs as Rishabh Pant used seven bowlers to keep Chennai Super Kings under pressure. CSK lost the match despite some late magic by former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who hammered a sensational 16-ball 37 not out for the five-time champions towards the end of the match.

After Pant had won the toss, David Warner and the skipper hammered quick-fire half-centuries and Prithvi Shaw blazed a 27-ball 43 as Delhi Capitals managed to post 191/5 in 20 overs. The bowlers led by Khaleel and Mukesh Kumar took over after that as Delhi Capitals put their campaign back on the rails after two defeats and handed CSK their first defeat after two wins at home.

Chasing a big total of 192 on a pitch that was offering a bit of bounce, Chennai Super Kings’s hopes of winning the match depended on openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Rachin Ravindra providing them a blazing start, just like they did in their last match. However, those hopes did not materialise as they faltered to lose two quick wickets with only seven runs on the board.

Seasoned pacer Khaleel Ahmed accounted for both of them, getting Gaikwad (1) to edge one behind to Pant with the extra ball of the first over after he sent down a wide. The CSK skipper attempted an expansive drive off a length ball and feathered it to the keeper.

Ravindra (2) did not last long as he was caught superbly by Tristian Stubbs at mid-on as the New Zealander mishit a chipped pull.

Ajinkya Rane and Daryl Mitchell raised 68 runs for the third wicket partnership as they revived the CSK innings. Rahane struck some superb shots, scoring 45 off 30 balls studded with five fours and two sixes. Daryl Mitchell scored 34 off 26 balls.

But two wickets in two balls by Mukesh Kumar, who sent back Rahane with a superb slower ball, getting him caught at long-on while on the next ball, he found a thin edge with a ball that bounced a bit to account for Sameer Rizvi. He came back to pick the dangerous Shivam Dube in the 17th over with a short and slower one, to end with figures of 3-21.

Towards the end, Ravindra Jadeja and Mahendra Dhoni unleashed some superb shots but by that time, the writing was clear on the wall. Jadeja scored 21 off 17 balls while Dhoni, who was dropped by Khaleel off Mukesh Kumar at backward point, hammered 37 not out just 16 balls, hitting four boundaries and three sixes including a 85+ one-handed maximum off a ball picked from his legs. The 42-year-old maestro played a special and brilliant innings that raised the hopes of ardent fans but the task was very difficult.

The Dhoni magic, though great watching for the CSK fans in the stands, was too little as Delhi Capitals lost by 20 runs as the trend of home teams winning the matches continued with 12 out of 13 going in favour of the hosts.

Brief scores:

Delhi Capitals 191/5 in 20 overs (David Warner 52, Rishabh Pant 51, Prithvi Shaw 43; Pathirana 3-31) beat Chennai Super Kings 171/6 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 45, MS Dhoni 37 not out, Daryl Mitchell 34;



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