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Over even before it began

  • Rohit Bhaskar, Hindustan Times, Chennai
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  • Updated: May 26, 2012 01:35 IST
  • BCCI

    Krishnamachari Shrikanth receives a cheque from BCCI president N Srinivasan during the IPL T20 cricket 2nd Qualifier match between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils ...

  • Suresh Raina

    Chennai Super Kings fielder Suresh Raina  celebrates with teammates after he takes the catch of Delhi Daredevils' Ross Taylor during the IPL Qualifier 2 match ...

  • Mahela Jayawardene

    Delhi Daredevils batsman Mahela Jayawardene watches his shot during their Indian Premier League (IPL) playoff cricket match against Chennai Super Kings in Chennai. AP/Aijaz Rahi

  • virender sehwag

    Delhi Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag in action against Chennai Super Kings during the IPL T20 Qualifier 2 at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. HT/Virendra Singh ...

  • MS Dhoni ,Michael Hussey

    Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni celebrates after Michael Hussey takes the catch of Delhi Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag during the IPL Qualifier 2 match ...

  • Murali Vijay

    Chennai Super Kings batsman Murali Vijay in action against Delhi Daredevils during the IPL T20 Qualifier 2 at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. HT/Virendra Singh ...

  • MS Dhoni's wife Sakshi

    Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni's wife Sakshi cheers up Murali Vijay and Dhoni during the IPL Qualifier 2 match against Delhi Daredevils in Chennai. ...

  • MS Dhoni

    Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni bats during the IPL Qualifier 2 match against Delhi Daredevils at MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. HT/Santosh Harhare

  • Varun Aron, Mike Hussey

    Delhi Daredevils bowler Varun Aaron celebrates the wicket of Chennai Super Kings batsman Mike Hussey during the IPL Qualifier 2 match at MA Chidambaram stadium ...

  •  Murali Vijay

    Chennai Super Kings batsman Murali Vijay bats during the IPL Qualifier 2 match against Delhi Daredevils at MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. HT/Santosh Harhare

In most match reports, experts pick out the turning points that swung the tie in the winning team's favour. A fantastic catch, a magical run out, a brute of a delivery or a shot of sheer audacity, these are normally the main points when deciding the game-changing moments. Add shocking team selections to that list.

Dropping the IPL's leading wicket-taker this season, Morne Morkel, and handing an IPL debut to Sunny Gupta in their biggest match of the season came back to haunt the Delhi Daredevils and kept the Chennai Super Kings' three-peat dreams on track as they cruised to an 86-run win.

Smashing success
Murali Vijay came into the match with a very mediocre return of 181 runs in his 12 matches this season, at a disappointing strike-rate of around 100. On Friday, he changed all that with a 113-run blitz off just 58 balls, studded with 14 boundaries and four sixes. An effort that even topped his match-winning 95 off 52 balls in last year's final against RCB at the same venue.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/5/25_05-pg-17a.jpg

The first ball he faced, delivered by off-spinner Gupta, Vijay danced down the track and hit it over mid-off for a one-bounce four. There was no turning back after that as he regularly employed the aerial route, making the most of the luck that came his way, with many aerial hits falling just wide of diving Daredevils fielders. On the one occasion the ball was gobbled up by a fielder, Ross Taylor, he stepped on the boundary rope and the on-field umpire reversed the decision and signalled the maximum after consulting with the third umpire. 

Steady start
Chennai's start was good, without being particularly great. They were 39/0 after five overs. Sehwag brought on Varun Aaron, who had leaked 48 runs in his four overs against KKR in the first qualifier, and all hell broke loose. Vijay smacked him for three boundaries in his first over and the pacer never recovered and posted disappointing figures of 2/63 off his four overs.

He provided the first breakthrough, getting rid of Mike Hussey, but failed to check the run-rate. With his quicker men letting him down, Sehwag brought himself on. However, that only compounded matters as Vijay hit him for two sixes and two fours.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/5/25_05-pg-17b.jpg

MS Dhoni then took over from where he left off in Bangalore, hitting the second and third balls he faced for sixes. The second of these was his signature helicopter shot, smashing Gupta with a powerful whip of the wrists.

Chasing an imposing target, Sehwag dropped himself down the order as Jayawardene and Warner opened. However, DD were rocked early when Warner's Australia teammate Ben Hilfenhaus dismissed him for 3. That brought Sehwag to the middle, but he survived only for six balls.

 

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Dhoni vs Sehwag: always foes, never friends

 
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