Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy
West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer produced a match-winning cameo as Delhi Capitals edged out Chennai Super Kings by three wickets to go top of the Indian Premier League table on Monday.
Chasing 137 for victory, Delhi depended on a brisk 39 by Shikhar Dhawan and Hetmyer’s 18-ball 28 to achieve their target with two balls to spare in Dubai.
“Very important for me to finish games,” said the left-handed Hetmyer. “I tell the guys that is what I am paid for and I try to finish as many games as possible.”
Spinner Axar Patel set up victory with impressive figures of 2-18 as Delhi kept down M.S. Dhoni’s Chennai to 136 for five despite an unbeaten 55 by Ambati Rayudu.
Delhi, who inched closer to a top-two finish in the league stage, made Chennai slip to second while Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore stay third. All three teams have made the playoffs.
Finishing in the top two gives the teams a second chance among the four teams to make the finals on October 15.
“Not a bad birthday present, but in the end we made it tough for us,” said Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant who turned 24 on Monday.
“Absolutely big win, and want to be absolutely sure we finish in the top two.”
Delhi were in trouble at 99-6 after pace bowler Shardul Thakur struck twice in an over to send back Ravichandran Ashwin and Dhawan back to the dug out.
Number seven Hetmyer then stood firm and smashed fellow West Indian Dwayne Bravo for two boundaries in one over and hit a six off Josh Hazlewood in the next to ease the pressure.
Bravo got Patel out in the final over but new man Kagiso Rabada hit the winning runs to take Delhi to 20 points in 13 matches.
Earlier Patel took two key wickets including Faf du Plessis for 10 and Moeen Ali for five to hurt Chennai’s batting which was later boosted by a 70-run fifth wicket stand between Rayudu and Dhoni.