Matthew Hayden hammered a blistering 93 as Chennai Super Kings cruised to a five-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils in their Indian Premier League match at Ferozeshah Kotla.

When Mathew Hayden makes hay, the job for Chennai Super Kings is mostly done.

It was one such evening at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground when the big-made Aussie came good and left Delhi Daredevils reeling at the receiving end of a brutal assault.

Hayden, aptly named Man-of-the-Match, made a formidable task of chasing 186 look ridiculously easy by playing one of the most destructive knocks seen in the Indian Premier League. The left-handed opener’s 43-ball 93 studded with seven sixes and nine boundaries proved decisive as Super Kings won by five wickets and as many deliveries to spare.

Hayden made sure the scoring rate remained in excess of 10 runs an over until he departed in the 14th over with the score at 142 for three. After some anxious moments, due to the cheap dismissals of Albie Morkel and Justkin Kemp, the Super Kings covered the remainder of the journey by riding on the shoulders of new-captain Suresh Raina and M. Vijay.

The second successive victory for the visiting team resulted in the home team’s second consecutive loss in the competition.

In fact, what Virender Sehwag’s 38-ball 74 did to set up Delhi Daredevils’ 185 for six, began to look increasingly inadequate once Hayden got down to the job he does best.

Using the much-talked about ‘mongoose’ bat, (a variant with a smaller blade and a longer handle) from the fourth over, Hayden continued to punish the new bowlers by turns. “He bats the same way,” said Delhi skipper Dinesh Karthik referring to Hayden’s bat. The burly Australian had practised well with the bat to put it to good use tonight.

Having hit three boundaries off Vidarbha boy Umesh Yadav in the second over of the innings, Hayden smashed a six and three boundaries of Rajat Bhatia and then helped himself to three sixes off Tilakaratne Dilshan. These ‘big’ overs kept Chennai well ahead of the asking rate and Daredevils firmly on the defensive.

However, Hayden missed a well-deserved century after failing to clear a diving Dilshan at long-on. “We thought we had a chance when we got Hayden but we were 10 runs too short,” said Karthik.

Earlier, for the second time in three games, Sehwag provided the foundation for Daredevils. As is his wont, Sehwag went for the bowling straightaway. A total of 200 looked very much possible with Sehwag treating every bowler with equal disdain.

An exasperated Raina employed six bowlers in the first eight overs that yielded 79 runs for the wicket of Darren Warner, the Aussie who not justify the reputation of being a ruthless hitter. “With Sehwag in form, you can’t do anything. I just wanted to be different,” said Raina.

Sehwag smashed three sixes – off Balaji, Kemp and Ashwin – and collected 10 boundaries almost at will and had every bowler at his mercy.

Just when Raina seemed running out of options, Muralidharan struck twice in three deliveries to send back off-form Dilshan and Sehwag.

Dilshan, in spite of playing the longest of the four innings so far in the competition, failed to look convincing and fell after failing to clear Raina at midwicket. Sehwag, looking for straight six, mistimed the shot and holed out to Kemp who tumbled and completed a one-handed catch at long-off.

AB de Villiers, too, departed in the following over to leave Delhi worried. But Dinesh Karthik, Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia took turns to keep the run-rate over nine runs per over. Bhatia smashed two sixes off Balaji before falling to him in the penultimate over.

The scores:

Delhi Daredevils: D. Warner c Hayden b Balaji 6 (8b, 1x4), V. Sehwag c Kemp b Muralitharan 74 (38b, 10x4, 3x6), T. Dilshan c Raina b Muralitharan 15 (24b, 1x4), D. Karthik lbw b Joginder 19 (14b, 2x4), AB de Villiers c Raina b Ashwin 2 (3b), M. Manhas (not out) 32 (22b, 5x4), R. Bhatia c Raina b Balaji 21 (9b, 1x4, 2x6), A. Mishra (not out) 6 (3b, 1x4), Extras (lb-4, nb-1, w-5) 10, Total (for six wickets in 20 overs) 185.

Fall of wickets; 1-35, 2-102, 3-103, 4-107, 5-146, 6-177.

Chennai Super Kings bowling: A. Morkel 3-0-26-0, R. Ashwin 4-0-41-1, Joginder Sharma 4-0-43-1, L. Balaji 3-0-21-2, J. Kemp 1-0-14-0, M. Muralitharan 4-0-25-2, S. Raina 1-0-12-0.

Chennai Super Kings: P. Patel (run out) 6 (6b, 1x4), M. Hayden c Dilshan b Mishra 93 (43b, 9x4, 7x6), S. Badrinath c Mishra b Yadav 14, (15b, 3x4), S. Raina (not out) 49 (34b, 3x4, 3x6), A. Morkel c Mishra b Dilshan 0 (3b), J. Kemp b Nannes 4 (8b), M. Vijay (not out) 14, (6b, 1x4, 1x6), Extras (lb-2, w-8) 10, Total (for five wickets in 19.1 overs) 190.

Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-64, 3-142, 4-154, 5-169.

Delhi Daredevils bowling: D. Nannes 4-0-18-1, U. Yadav 4-0-38-1, P. Sangwan 4-0-46-0, R. Bhatia 2-0-31-0, T. Dilshan 2.1-0-30-1, A. Mishra 3-0-35-1.

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