A look around the packed Ferozshah Kotla during its first IPL match of the season and you wonder whether Delhi has such a strong Chennai Super Kings support base that has turned up waving thousands of yellow balloon-sticks.
Delhi Daredevils batsman Kevin Pietersen (L) is congratulated by Chennai Superkings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi. AFP Photo/Manan Vatsyayana
And strangely enough, they are sporting enough to even cheer the fall
of CSK wickets!
But a closer look reveals this mighty army is actually rooting for Delhi Daredevils — it’s just that the cellular company, that has armed the fans with these, have the same colours as the visiting team on Tuesday night.
The two captains met on the cricket field again. Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni haven't been on the same page when it comes to judging certain teammates. Trouble arose after the India skipper suggested that the senior pros weren't athletic on the field. But the much-anticipated friction was not visible. A brief meeting in the middle at the toss, followed by a hand shake and a little chat while walking back left all those anticipating some rivalry utterly disappointed. No love seemed lost between them; neither was there any extra effort to smile to the camera.
But Viru let his bat do the talking. A 21-ball 33 was all that he needed to blunt the CSK attack. But ironically, the fielding issue didn't die down. Dhoni this time was at the receiving end of four run outs — and quite theatrically, Sehwag was involved in the last one.
However hard he tries, Dhoni just doesn't seem to be getting his magic touch back. And losing their first wicket off the very first ball of this rain delayed match showed CSK's fortunes weren't taking a turn for the good.
Only Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis managed to infuse some momentum while Dwayne Bravo struggled to 22 from 31 balls. And some brilliant fielding by the Daredevils kept the defending champions down.
As for Delhi, Kevin Pietersen and Mahela Jayawardene, lived up to top billing in their first game and drove the home team to an eight-wicket win. Chennai Super Kings had won the rubber when these two teams had met last, in IPL 4. Delhi Daredevils chose to return the favour with 6.4 overs to spare.