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IPL 2019: Match 5, Delhi Capitals vs Chennai Super Kings – Tactical miss of the game

Shane Watson was awarded the Player of the Match for his 26-ball 44 with seven boundaries.

MS Dhoni and Shreyas Iyer
MS Dhoni and Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

The game between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings was played on a track on which the India-Australia ODI was played this month at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi. The track produced a good amount of the turn for the spinners and in fact more than what both the teams expected. As the pitch got slower, the DC’s scoring rate too came down as their innings progressed.

The Capitals finished with 147/6 in their 20 overs having scored only 29 runs from the last five. To restrict the Super Kings, the DC team needed to pick wickets up front. By exposing the middle-order in tricky conditions in the 2nd half, the Delhi Capitals could have put pressure on the defending champions. However, Shane Watson’s 26-ball 44 with four fours and three sixes at the top made the difference.

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A right tactic, but wrong execution

With Ambati Rayudu’s recent form being a roller-coaster ride, the Capitals had to get Watson early on. The Australian bagged a 10-ball duck in the first game but is coming off a successful stint in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Watson finished as the leading run-getter with 430 runs while no other player aggregated more than 360 runs. He had an average of 43 in that competition across 12 innings where he scored four fifties.

Hence, the hosts introduced Axar Patel as early as the 2nd over. Watson has a history of struggling against the left-arm spinners as he averages 23.33 in the IPL against them and it comes down to 19 in the powerplay. Axar had good success against Watson as he dismissed the CSK opener five times in the IPL in 28 balls by conceding only 25 runs before this game.

The actually happening:

Delhi Capitals might have got this match-up right but Axar Patel isn’t in best of forms. A couple of days ago, Axar was taken to the cleaners by Yuvraj Singh who himself wasn’t in greatest of forms. The left-arm spinner ended up bowling too short to Watson who piled two boundaries in that over. Axar was then replaced by Kagiso Rabada who tried to get better of Watson with his pace.

The 37-year-old survived the spell and helped CSK score at 10+ an over along with Suresh Raina. Instead of Axar, Delhi could have tried with Amit Mishra in the powerplay. The leg-spinner claimed Watson’s wicket on four occasions conceding 58 runs from 58 deliveries in the IPL prior to the game. The veteran players faced off in the 7th over where Watson smashed the leggie for two sixes.

However, Mishra made a comeback by deceiving the star player with a wide delivery. Rishabh Pant didn’t do any mistake behind the stumps as Shane Watson’s stay was cut short. However, his 26-ball 44 took the game away from the home team as he added 52 from four overs with Suresh Raina. The struggles of the middle-order showed how critical his knock was and he was rightly awarded the Player of the Match.

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