Jakati puts Daredevils into a spin
David Warner made a grand entry into the IPL fold with an explosive half-century and Dinesh Karthik continued his good form with the bat but it was not enough to save Delhi as they lost to Chennai by 18 runs.
The star of the show for MS Dhoniís Chennai team was little-known Goa left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati, who bagged four quick wickets for 24 runs to turn the game on its head.
Chasing 164 to win, Delhi - led by Gautam Gambhir in the absence of the injured Sehwag - relied heavily on Warner and Karthik as the big guns in Gambhir, Dilshan and AB De Villiers all failed to get going.
Chennai pacer Sudeep Tyagi got rid of Gambhir and De Villiers early and Jakati got rid of the dangerous Warner at a crucial moment to set it up for Chennai.
Earlier, Delhi won the toss and elected to field first, a risk they were willing to take despite Sehwag not playing. Chennai were propped up by useful contributions from Matthew Hayden and Suresh Raina, who scored 30 and 32 respectively, and Badrinath, who came good with a brisk 34-ball 45.
A total of 163 seemed good enough given the scores that IPL has been seeing in the last few matches, but though Team Delhi lost, Warner, the first player since 1877 to play for the Australian national team without playing first-class cricket, gave Dhoni & Co the jitters and stamped his class on the tournament.
Delhi, however, did better than what the scoreboard eventually suggested. Some good catches, especially AB de Villiersí dive to get rid of Hayden, Dirk Nannes making life difficult with pace close to 148 kmph, Ashish Nehra maintaining a decent line were crucial given the way Chennai were surging. In fact, towards the end it seemed Chennai had settled for a far lesser total than what they might have been aiming for.
It was then that Warner walked in with Gautam Gambhir. The start was slow, 11 runs from two overs. Then Gambhir fell and De Villiers followed, bowled for a duck, and it began to seem like Delhi would lose the plot immediately. Even Tillakaratane Dilshan, who has been enjoying immensely good form, was bowled for a mere 13 runs by Jakati.
However, Warner finally saw hope in wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik and the duo took Delhi to within an armís length of victory before both fell.