Shane Watson and MS Dhoni scored scintillating half-centuries to set up a 13-run win over Delhi Daredevils in Pune on Monday, taking the two-time IPL champions closer to a playoff berth. Watson (78 off 40) and Dhoni (51* off 22) gave a masterclass in power hitting to fire Super Kings to 211 for four after Daredevils opted to field on a good batting surface.
Dhoni showed his devastating touch in the last five overs which produced 74 runs. It was also Dhoni's second fastest fifty in the IPL. The captain got into the act with successive sixes off Boult, one over mid-wicket and another one from a bottom-handed jab over long on. The third one was a whip off Avesh Khan over square leg, almost going out of the ground. He ended up with five sixes and two fours.
Earlier, Watson was back to his brutal best after three low scores and shared a 102-run opening off 66 balls stand with Faf du Plessis (33) after surviving a close lbw call on the first ball of the match. The Watson-Du Plessis duo produced the desired result for the Super Kings who raced to 100 in just 10.2 overs. Watson, who hit a hundred earlier in the tournament, got going by depositing Liam Plunkett for two sixes in the fifth over that eventually leaked 20 runs. Watson hammered as many as seven sixes with most of them coming straight or over square leg.
Needing more than 10 an over put scoreboard pressure on the visitors and they wilted under pressure. Rishabh Pant (79 off 45) and Vijay Shankar (51* off 31) ensured Daredevils get closer to the target but it was not enough as they ended at 198 for five. Super Kings pacer Lungi Ngidi impressed on his IPL debut, ending with figures of one for 26 in four overs.
Delhi kept losing wickets in the chase and at 74 for four in ninth over, it was all over for them. It was Delhi's sixth loss in eight games and now they are all but out of the play-off race. With a sixth win in eight games, CSK further consolidated their position at the top of the points table. They are tied on 12 points with Sunrisers Hyderabad.