Resurgent Chennai aim to overcome stern Delhi Test
Having humbled an ominous Mumbai side by 21 points on Index in the Eliminator, a confident Chennai side would be looking to make it to the finals when they meet Delhi in the second Qualifier at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
After luckily qualifying for the Play-offs, Chennai made sure that they made most it by putting in a spectacular all-round performance against Mumbai at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in their previous match. They were reeling at 1/2 at the start of the innings but good contributions from Michael Hussey and Badrinath helped them resurrect from a difficult situation. It looked as if they would end up with a moderate total but skipper Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo totally changed the game in favour of Chennai as they added 73 unbeaten runs from the Extreme Performance Overs to power Chennai to a mammoth 187.
Bravo’s contribution has been exceptional both with bat and ball and his contribution in this match will be crucial. Their biggest worry is the form of Murali Vijay who had shown glimpses of form at the end of group stages but lost his plot again. He needs to fire big time as a strong opening stand would be needed against the fierce pace battery of Delhi. Dhoni has the capability to perform on big occasions and this time around too, Chennai will be hoping that he delivers the goods.
Their bowlers did well to earn them a 38-run victory. It was their spinners and medium pacers who stepped up to the occasion and performed splendidly. Hilfenhaus has been pretty good throughout the tournament but he was taken for runs against Mumbai. He needs to get back to form as soon as possible as he will be up against he likes of David Warner and Virender Sehwag in the Quick Start Overs. Dhoni and Bravo will be the biggest threats for Delhi.
Delhi, on the other hand, after a pretty consistent group stage, lost plot at a crucial stage having lost out to Kolkata in the first qualifier. Their strength was batting and it failed at crucial juncture as no one apart from Mahela Jayawardena chipped in with a significant contribution chasing 163.
Their pace battery was taken to the cleaners against Kolkata and they need to make sure the confidence is upbeat as their contribution is crucial in this match. Sehwag has totally lost his plot after five consecutive half-centuries and he needs to deliver up the order. There are chances that Shahbaz Nadeem might replace Varun Aaron in the starting eleven. Jayawardena, David Warner, with second-best Batting Momentum of 61 in the tournament and Morne Morkel will be the biggest threats for Chennai.
Chennai have struck back form at the right moment and considering that they play stupendously in crunch games, it will be a tough ask for Delhi to overcome them. Delhi possess a strong team on cards and if the two openers fire, it can altogether change the complete scenario. A cracker of a contest is definitely on cards.