An impossibly brilliant century from AB de Villiers set up an nine run victory for the Delhi Daredevils over the Chennai Super Kings.
For a period it seemed that prolific Australian opening batsman Matthew Hayden would match De Villiers’s feat and secure victory by leading the charge to the imposing target of 190. However, where De Villiers had the staying power to accompany his brutally beautiful strokeplay, Hayden succumbed for 57 off 27 balls.
De Villiers’s unbeaten 105 [5x4, 6x6] came off just 54 deliveries and took 22 off Andrew Flintoff’s last over, butchering his bowling figures [4-50-0] and leaving the tournament’s second most expensive signing looking decidedly deflated.
Spare a thought for Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan, whose was equally prolific in his supporting role, smashing 50 off 27 balls.
Hayden fell with 100 runs needed off 73 deliveries, but Suresh Raina ensured that momentum wasn’t lost by collecting his runs at a healthy strike-rate. He, however, holed out to deep mid-on with 51 needed off 35 balls, leaving Flintoff and Proteas all-rounder Albie Morkel with the responsibility of pursuing the target.
Flintoff needed a match-winning performance to justify his $1.5 million price tag, but he failed once more and at present is competing with countryman Kevin Pietersen for the tag of the tournament’s priciest flop.
Needing 24 off the last two overs Chennai lost Subramaniam Badrinath and Manpreet Gony within two balls of each other and had Joginder Sharma and MS Gony run out in consecutive deliveries, leaving Morkel needing to smash 11 from two – an improbable task which he failed.
Delhi 189-5 - AB de Villiers 105*, Tillakaratne Dilshan 50, Lakshmipathy Balaji 4-19.
Chennai 180 - Matthew Hayden 57, Suresh Raina 41, Pradeep Sangwan 3-28.
Delhi won by nine runs
Click here for a full scorecard