IPL 2024: Rishabh Pant, Mukesh Kumar Star In DC's 20-Run Win Over CSK

Rishabh Pant, Mukesh Kumar and David Warner's well-constructed fifty set up a convincing Delhi Capitals' victory over Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2024 encounter at Vizag on Sunday

DC players celebrate a wicket in their IPL 2024 match against CSK. Photo: AP

Comeback man Rishabh Pant hit a much-awaited fifty after David Warner's well-constructed 52 to set up Delhi Capitals' convincing 20-run win over Chennai Super Kings for whom veteran MS Dhoni's vintage knock was not enough to cross the line in their IPL match on Sunday. (As It Happened | Full Coverage | More Cricket News)

Faced with a tough 192-run target, the Super Kings tried to scale it down through Ajinkya Rahane (45), Dhoni (37 not out) and Daryl Mitchell (34) but the Capitals carried far too many guns for them on the night. CSK ended up at 171 for six.

In the first session, Warner and Prithvi Shaw (43) overcame a slow start to share a 93-run opening stand before Pant's 32-ball 51 powered DC to a competitive 191 for 5.

Pant, who came into the tournament after recovering from a life-threatening road mishap in December 2022, belted four boundaries and three maximums for his first fifty in 15 months.

Left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed (2/21) set the tone for DC's defence with his twin strikes in the Power Play which led to its fruition by pacer Mukesh Kumar (3/21).

While Ruturaj Gaikwad's (1) trouble against left-arm seamers continued as he was done in by a superb inswinger, a frustrated Rachin Ravindra (2) holed out to Tristan Stubbs after a 12-ball stay as CSK slumped to 32 for 2 in six overs.

Rahane and Mitchell provided some stability with a 68-run stand, which included a 17-run over off DC's impact sub Rasikh Salam's second over but left-arm spinner Axar Patel ousted the New Zealander to break the alliance.

It was a Mukesh show thereafter as coming on to bowl after the 13th over, he struck twice in two balls to remove Rahane and Sameer Rizvi (0), leaving CSK at 102 for 5 in the 14th over.

Shivam Dube (18) was next to go as Mukesh kept bowling wide outside off and varied the pace as the batter eventually sent one straight to long-off.

With CSK needing 58 off 18 balls, Dhoni walked out to bat for the first time this season amid chants of "Dhoni Dhoni" and treated his fans to some delightful shots.

The former CSK skipper blasted two fours in the first three balls with Ahmed dropping a sitter in the second ball.

Dhoni then clobbered a six over extra cover off Ahmed, who ended up with three wides to concede 12 runs. But Mukesh conceded just 5 runs in the 19th over to crush CSK's dream, leaving them to make an impossible 41 off the last over.

Dhoni, who turned the clock back, however, gave his fans enough to cheer with a four and a one-handed six off the first two balls before producing another four and a last-ball six as CSK racked up 20 runs. But the Dhoni hurricane came a trifle late.

Earlier, the in-form Warner slammed five boundaries and three maximums during his 35-ball 52, while Shaw, playing his first game this season, smashed two sixes and four boundaries in his 27-ball 43.

However, Pathirana produced a sensational catch to dismiss Warner and then returned to strike twice in three balls to bring CSK back into the game.

But Pant, who had looked in fine fettle in his two earlier innings, took his time to settle and then exploded in the end overs to take them close to a 200-total.

DC had a watchful start as they were going at run-a-ball rate for the first four overs.

Warner then picked Deepak Chahar for the special treatment, depositing him twice into the stands on the leg side. He also hit two fours on the off side to accumulate 18 off the fifth over.

Mustafizur Rahman was then taken to the cleaners with Shaw hitting three successive fours as DC posted their highest powerplay score of 62/0 of this IPL.

It took the brilliance of Pathirana to send Warner back as the Sri Lankan dived to his right and plucked the ball from thin air, leaving the Aussie stunned as Mustafizur drew first blood.

Shaw smashed another six to take DC past the 100-run mark but Jadeja dismissed him next ball, inducing an edge as Dhoni did the rest for his 300th dismissal -- the highest by a keeper in T20s.

With the two openers gone, the scoring rate dropped as skipper Pant struggled for early momentum.

Pathirana then unleashed a 150kph thunderbolt to uproot the middle-stump of Mitchell Marsh and then rattled Stubbs' timbers with an in-swinging yorker to leave DC at 134 for 4 in 15 overs.

Pant then stepped up, plundering a four and a six off Mustafizur and then launched into Pathirana, clobbering him for a six and two fours in the 19th over as 43 runs came off the final three overs.