As Delhi Capitals found out, intent is one thing but when you misread the pitch and set too high a target batting first, things can go downhill very soon. Considering they are so top heavy in their batting, they erred in setting the bar too high and ran out of steam in no time. The pitch played its part no doubt — it was slow, the ball held up a touch, there was some spin and it sucked the life out of Delhi’s aggressive instincts.
The pitch had shown its card in the first over itself when Deepak Chahar got the ball to hold up but the openers didn’t pay much heed. Prithvi Shaw, as he has done through the tournament, has just one tempo in his batting, and he was through with his pull early and was trapped lbw.
Then Chennai’s spinners took over in some style. Harbhajan Singh has bowled like a dream this tournament — seldom has he slowed up the pace as much as he has done this year and yet again he got the rewards. A slowish offbreak had Shikhar Dhawan edging the cut to MS Dhoni,
Perhaps, it was the left-handed Colin Munro’s wicket in the 8th over that made the situation worse and reduced the game into a meandering affair. He had looked good until then, seemed to have judged the pace of the pitch, and delaying his shots – rather waiting for the ball to come on, but he made a tactical error against Ravindra Jadeja. He chose to sweep aerially and too square on this sluggish pitch and found the man placed at square-leg boundary.With his exit at 57 for 3 in the 9th over, Delhi Capitals’ middle-order muddle started to show. Shreyas Iyer too went for an ambitious slog sweep to Imran Tahir and could only watch the miscue being swallowed in the outfield.
That was that, Delhi Capitals started to limp on and a worried Rishabh Pant shelved his aggressive instincts as he was understandably concerned about what would happen if he got out. So he just pushed and poked around, and watched as his partners scratch around aimlessly. Pant too finally fell without producing much fireworks, but Amit Mishra and Ishant Sharma swung their bat to push the total to 147.