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IPL 2018: Chennai Super Kings aim to seal top-two spot against demoralised Delhi Daredevils

Chennai Super Kings have already qualified for the IPL 2018 play-offs and will be aiming to seal their spot in the top two with a win over Delhi Daredevils, who are at the bottom of the table.

cricket Updated: May 17, 2018 23:55 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
IPL 2018,Chennai Super Kings,Delhi Daredevils
A formidable Chennai Super Kings will be aiming to tie up loose ends ahead of the play-offs when they take on Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 match at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Friday. (AFP)

Chennai Super Kings entering the playoffs and Delhi Daredevils scraping the bottom of the points table has been pretty much their stories in the Indian Premier League. Not much has changed this edition too. (IPL 2018 FULL COVERAGE)

While the battle for the third and fourth spot intensifies between five teams, the match between Delhi Daredevils and Chennai Super Kings at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Friday has a simple equation. A win for MS Dhoni’s side will cement their top two spot while a loss might not damage their chances too much.

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Veterans outshine youngsters

When the IPL player auction ended, the squad compositions of both Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils painted a contrasting picture. CSK’s side consisted of veterans in Dhoni (36), Shane Watson (36), Dwayne Bravo (34), Ambati Rayudu (32) and Suresh Raina (31). DD, on the other hand, had youngsters in Under-19 World Cup winning captain Prithvi Shaw (19), Shreyas Iyer (23), Rishabh Pant (20) and Abhishek Sharma (17).

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However, as the tournament progressed, CSK showed that experience in match situations and the ability to soak pressure is very handy as compared to the fearless yet occasional brilliance shown by the youngsters at DD.

CSK’s all-round show trumps DD

CSK’s top order has been the trump card in the 2018 edition, with the likes of Ambati Rayudu stealing the show. The 32-year-old is the leading run-getter for the team with 535 runs at an average of 48 and a strike rate of 152. Rayudu has been ably assisted by Shane Watson, whose strike rate is 154.

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On the other hand, Delhi Daredevils have been boosted by the likes of Shaw, Iyer but their contributions have been sporadic. Pant, DD’s leading run-getter in the edition with 582 runs at an average of 52, has been the star of the show but he has not found support.

The key difference between both sides has been Dhoni and his rejuvenated finishing prowess in the middle order. The skipper’s steady influence has yielded him an average of over 100 and a strike-rate of over 160 in this tournament

While CSK have benefited from contributions from all their bowlers, DD have been reliant on Trent Boult and Amit Mishra. It is the lack of support from the other bowlers and batsmen in the DD side that has once again resulted in them being at the bottom of the points table.

CSK have a 12-5 head-to-head record against Delhi Daredevils and in their previous match, Dhoni’s side won the match by 13 runs. Heading into the game at the Kotla, CSK look set to continue their winning run against DD.

First Published: May 17, 2018 19:08 IST