Dhoni, Watson set up another thrilling win for Super Kings

Rohit Sharma held MI's innings together with a superbly paced 33-ball 56

The South African Captain has appreciated CSK skipper MS Dhoni for his exceptional hitting ability.

"Those were tight slaps right on the face of MS Dhoni haters who keep asking him to retire after every match" (sic) after Dhoni's innings in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Delhi Daredevils (Delhi) match. "T20 is not much workload, so it's manageable", said Dhoni after scoring his fastest IPL fifty, against Delhi Daredevils on Monday. But Rishabh Pant (79) and Vijay Shankar (54 not out) put on 88 runs together to bring team back into the game.

The Daredevils must now win each of their last six matches if they are to qualify for the play-offs. With a six wins in eight games, CSK further consolidated their position at the top of the points table. They are tied on 12 points with Sunrisers Hyderabad, but ahead on net run rate. Watson, who got to his half-century off 25 balls, made 78 before he miscued an attempted big-hit off Amit Mishra and holed out to long-off.

Pant briefly had Delhi believing a comeback was on, despite his confusion leading to skipper Shreyas Iyer being run out.

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Earlier, asked to bat first Chennai got off to a flying start as openers Watson and du Plessis slammed the Delhi bowlers all around the park.

The batting order was reshuffled to get in du Plessis and the man in form, Ambati Rayudu was down at No 4. His fourth wicket stand of 79 with Dhoni came off just 36 balls.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni plundered 51 from 22 balls during Chennai's innings and Boult's third over went for 21 as the Indian cricket star hit the Kiwi for two consecutive sixes then a four.

Dhoni is confident of continuing in this edition despite a "bad back".

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The hosts, playing on their adopted home venue in Pune will meanwhile look to find their feet once again after losing to the Mumbai Indians by eight wickets on Saturday.

"Death bowling hasn't been good, and if we reach the final, which will be held in small grounds, the margin for error is very small", said Dhoni after the match.

Delhi Daredevils won the toss and invited CSK to bat first.

Rayudu couldn't make in time, though, as Rishabh Pant quickly released the ball to Boult who knocked down the stumps at the non-striker's end with a direct hit.

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The other CSK debutant, KM Asif, bowled with good pace, and ended up being CSK's most successful bowler in the match; the Kerala pacer was expensive, but picked up two wickets and ended with figures of 2-43 from his three overs.

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