All a little too late for the Delhi, though, with one game to go against the Mumbai, which the Hitman-led Blues need to win desperately. CHN, on the other hand, have been shaken awake by the inevitable wooden-spoon holders and must address the problems highlighted in this match. On that note, this is Rishi Roy bidding adieu on behalf of Hari, Sagar, Raju, Abhinand and Naga. So long folks. *Curtains down.*
00:07 Local Time: Okay, so we are into Day 2 of this T20 League game. 7 minutes past midnight after one of the more insipid games of the league stages. A useful consolation win for the Delhi though, and a great exhibition of the talent that the T20 League spews out.
Harshal Patel, Man of the Match: (36* off 16, 4-0-23-1) "I think bowling was the more difficult skill on this pitch, considering how the ground and pitch are, and especially with the dew coming into play in the latter part of the innings. We stuck to our plans and executed really well. It's all about consistency (4-over spells), so they are more important than batting cameos. You can bowl one really good over, and one over can lose you a game. I was watching Bravo's hand really well, and I know he is good at bowling slower balls, so I just backed myself to not get deceived, and that was my only plan: to watch the ball well and react to whatever he was bowling. It's about consistency: how often I can produce performances like this and win games for my team. That's important for me. I have been studying my own game really well. It was about not trying to do anything out of my capabilities and stick to what I have. I have enough skill to perform at this level. It was just about being confident and executing my skills well."
Shreyas Iyer: "We were craving for this victory, and coming against one of the best teams is satisfying. All departments did well and lived up to the expectations. It wasn't easy to bat on this wicket, and Harshal coming at number 7 in that last over was amazing. That performance was not expected and that just goes to show what he is here for. That last over played a major role in getting us to 162. We were never lacking in preparation from the beginning of the tournament, it's just that we were not able to execute what we had planned in the nets and all the three departments weren't clicking together, which happened today and in all the games that we won."
Sandeep Lamichhane: It was slightly skiddy wicket and I have to thank each and every supporter who came and supported us. The way every player contributed in this game, I think that helped me a lot. The way Harshal and Vijay finished towards the end, it was something like that which helped me to bowl in the right areas. I think they were well set at that moment (Raina and Dhoni in the middle) and I was trying to bowl my best ball and suddenly we got the wicket we wanted and the game changed from there. It happens sometimes (Pant's drop catch). You hold onto great catches and you drop some and I think everyone contributed well. Enjoying myself. I want to thank everyone especially everyone back in Nepal. I want to thank T20 League for giving me a chance and also want to thank DEL.
Dhoni [2/2]: Overall, yes, slightly disappointed with the loss but I don't think we could have done much. (Whether complacency came) What I told them is not to look at the points table, take it one game at a time. Keep strengthening what your strengths are, at the same time also strengthen your weaknesses. We also want to improve in certain areas. Apart from the openers, we need to get partnerships in the middle order. We've not used too many batsmen in this tournament so far but anybody can get opportunities from hereon. They need to be mentally ready for this than physically. I think apart from that, we are doing well. If we get our death bowling sorted out, it will be very good. Still have one more game and then into the eliminators (playoffs), so let's see. (On death bowling worries) We'll try to manage it, that's what the reality is. At the end of the day, you can give 100 different plans to the bowlers, depends on his strength and the conditions. Lot of times, you'll have to shuffle the bowlers according to how the wicket is doing, that's what we'll have to do in the playoffs. Those are the games when you need to be at your best. It includes everybody, anyone can have an off day but if someone can chip in with one or two overs, we can cover it up. That's the real time when everyone has to play as a team.
Dhoni [1/2]: I think the wicket slightly got more difficult in the second half. I think it was evident, nobody was middling it well in our innings. Wicket kept getting slower and slower. Their bowlers also bowled really well. Difficult to predict how the wicket behaves, sometimes it behaves well and sometimes it turns like this. I think if we batted better, we needed someone to score those extra 15-20 runs. (On the loss) Specially looking at the wicket, not that fussed. Have to be practical looking at the wicket as long as we know where we went wrong. Something going wrong is a part and parcel but if you know the reason why it went wrong, it becomes easier to come back from that. We know the reasons and what we could have done slightly different.
It was the Delhi' bowling, however, which really caught the eye. They stuck to their lengths, used their variations judiciously, and were smart enough to outfox one of the greatest finishers in the modern game. The experienced Amit Mishra and the rookie Nepali wrist-spinner were magnificent, as was Boult. Impossible to pick out one performance - this was the definition of a team effort. Other than Avesh and Maxwell, the other four bowlers conceded at less than 6 an over and managed to be miserly against a legendary batting unit. After Rayudu departed, the sigh of relief on Maxwell's face (after he took the catch) said it all, and the Delhi dominated the rest of the game.
23:40 Local Time: So there we have it. An already sleep-inducing dead-rubber made even more boring by CHN's feeble response on a wicket that got slower over the course of the game. Kudos to youngster Harshal Patel for that pivotal last over in which he absolutely caned Bravo for 26 runs. Add to that his spell of 4-0-23-1, and we have a MoM performance. Good innings by Vijay Shankar and Pant as well to lift them to a competitive total on this ground.
Deepak Chahar, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Boult to Dwayne Bravo, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Dwayne Bravo, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Boult to Dhoni, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Trent Boult [2.0-0-11-0] is back into the attack
Harshal Patel [2.0-0-10-1] is back into the attack
Ravindra Jadeja, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Mishra to Billings, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Mishra doesn't release it! A laugh from Pant behind the stumps...
Sam Billings, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Lamichhane to Raina, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Sandeep Lamichhane [2.0-0-8-0] is back into the attack
Time for some Nepali chicanery. No-helmet for Raina and Dhoni.
Time for a time-out. Chennai have gone about this slowly, and the required rate is soaring above 10. But that's the thing about having Dhoni out there. This looks like a cakewalk if he manages to stay out there till the end. Delhi have bowled exceedingly well, though, and Rayudu's wicket certainly gave them a boost. Anybody's game with 7 overs to go...
Amit Mishra [2.0-0-14-1] is back into the attack
Glenn Maxwell [1.0-0-4-0] is back into the attack
There's Dhoni, an expert on the numbers game, planning his chase. 3 off 3. When are the big guns coming out? Raina-Dhoni out there now, one of the most feared pairs in the history of the T20 League. This is the partnership to break.
Sandeep Lamichhane [1.0-0-2-0] is back into the attack
MS Dhoni, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Oh the chants can be heard from Bangalore: Dhoni!
Harshal Patel to Rayudu, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Harshal Patel [1.0-0-2-0] is back into the attack
Glenn Maxwell, right-arm off break, comes into the attack
Suresh Raina, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Mishra to Watson, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Short mid-wicket moves to short fine leg
Amit Mishra, right-arm leg break, comes into the attack
Time-out! Despite that Avesh over, DEL have managed to rein CHN in, during the Powerplay. However, the visitors haven't lost any wickets and with the form the two openers are in, the run rate isn't going to threaten. Especially with the middle order also in form. DEL need to start picking wickets
Harshal Patel, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
False start from Avesh
Boult had got his first official warning last over for running on the pitch
Avesh Khan, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Sandeep Lamichhane, right-arm leg break, comes into the attack
Good move from Iyer. Brings on the mystery man from Nepal to share the new ball. Could be possibly for Watson
Watson and Rayudu are at the crease. Watson is on strike. Boult will open the attack