Delhi Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan notched up his maiden century of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to propel his side to a comfortable five-wicket triumph over Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Match 34 of the ongoing edition of the lucrative T20 tournament at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
With the win, the Shreyas Iyer-led side has once again reclaimed the top spot in the IPL 2020 standings with seven wins from nine matches.Chennai, on the other hand, continue to occupy the sixth spot in the eight-team standings with just three wins in hand.
Chasing a decent target of 180 runs to win, Delhi Capitals lost their opener Prithvi Shaw for a duck as early as on the second ball of the first over by Deepak Chahar.
Chahar struck once again for CSK in the fifth over to remove third drop Ajinkya Rahane cheaply for eight runs.
Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan then joined forces with skipper Shreyas Iyer (23) and the duo stitched a crucial stand of 68 runs for the third wicket before the latter fell victim to a Dwayne Bravo delivery.
While Marcus Stoinis (14-ball 24) and Alex Carey (4) too failed to contribute much with the bat for their side, Dhawan continued to stand strong till the end to help Delhi Capitals cross the mark with a ball to spare.
Dhawan finished his innings unbeaten at 58-ball 101 runs, which was decorated with 14 boundaries and a six.
En route to his blistering knock, the Indian opener also brought up his maiden IPL and T20 ton off just 57 deliveries. He reached the mark by picking up single on the last delivery of the penultimate over by Sam Curran.
Meanwhile, Dhawan had earlier in the match also notched up his 40th fifty of the cash-rich league off 29 deliveries.
Along with Dhawan, Axar Patel also remained not out at the crease at five-ball 21 runs.
For CSK, Deepak Chahar picked up two wickets while Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur and Dwayne Bravo chipped in with a wicket each.
Earlier, Chennai opener Faf du Plessis struck a quick-fire 58 runs besides sharing an 87-run stand with Shane Watson (36) for the second wicket to steady his side’s innings after the dismissal of Sam Curran for a duck.
Subsequently, Ambati Rayudu (45) and Ravindra Jadeja (33) stitched an unbeaten stand of 50 runs at the back end of the innings to guide CSK to a total of 179/4 against Delhi Capitals.
Anrich Nortje managed to add two wickets to his account for Delhi, while Kagiso Rabada and Tushar Deshpande took a wicket each.
Dhawan was adjudged ‘Man of the Match’ for his match-winning knock.
Brief scores: CSK 179/4 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 58, Ambati Rayudu 45 not out; Anrich Nortje 2/33) vs DC 185/5 in 19.5 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 101, Marcus Stoinis 24; Deepak Chahar 2/18)