The huge total of 185 looked small as Hayden was smashing the white ball all the way through the stadium. The big man swung his small Mongoose bat with might to script a comfortable five-wicket victory for the Chennai Super Kings with a magical knock of 93. Hayden smacked 93 off 43 balls to almost singlehandedly chase down Delhi Daredevils’ imposing target. Delhi’s innings featured a similarly dominant effort. If Hayden scored 93 of the 142 while at crease, Virender Sehwag managed to make 74 out of his team’s 103.
The game looked like a battle of fielding efforts and Chennai got an upper hand in it. Chennai led by its skipper who took three outstanding catches and a spectacular effort by Justin Kemp. And for Delhi it was AB de Villiers who hit the stumps to run Parthiv Patel out. Tillakaratne Dilshan took a blinder charging in from long-on to deny Hayden a century, and Chennai a jitterless finish.
Hayden raced to a 24-ball half-century clobbering the Delhi bowlers to all parts of the small Kotla ground. He creamed Umesh Yadav for three boundaries in the second over. After getting the mongoose the real power hitting started as he smashed Rajat Bhatia for 18 runs, sweeping, flicking and charging down the ground for three fours and a six. Tillakaratne Dilshan was given a harsh welcome to the bowling crease, as Haydos brutally punished him for three huge sixes in the eighth over.
His hitting was so clean that it perhaps didn’t need the rumoured 20% extra bat power on most of the occasions. Only the second of three sixes in Dilshan’s over – the eighth of the innings – was mis-hit, but the ball managed to sail over wide long-on. That six also brought up his fifty, off 24 balls, and by the end of the over, he had reached 61, and Chennai 85.
More down-the-ground carnage followed in the next four overs, and Hayden had reached 87 off 37 with Chennai needing just 57 off 48, when Nannes was called back. A tight over later, Hayden hit Amit Mishra powerfully down the ground and Dilshan ran in and caught it inches off the ground. Would it have carried had it been hit with a normal bat?
With 44 needed off the last 6.3 overs, all Raina and Albie Morkel had to do was keep the scoreboard ticking, but Morkel departed for a duck when Dilshan struck in the 16th over. Skipper Raina though stuck in there and got the Super Kings home, hitting some meaty blows on the way to an unbeaten 49 from 34 balls.
As the big foreign names in the Delhi batting line-up continued to fail it was mainly due to Virender Sehwag’s rollicking 38-ball knock of 74 that the Daredevils could post a competitive totat of 185 for 6. Sehwag’s innings took about as much time as it took David Warner and Dilshan to struggle and get out, managing 21 off 32 between them.
He found the middle of the bat and the gaps started appearing from the second ball on. In the first eight overs, he displayed almost the whole array of effective Twenty20 shots: hits down the ground, through extra cover, over wide long-on and midwicket, and the square-cut. And by the time he got to 61 of 28 balls, Delhi’s score was 79. His innings came to an end with an inspirational catch from Kemp.
With 7.3 overs still to go, there was time enough for either side to win or lose. Although the balance was retained, the 78 that Karthik, Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia added proved to be inadequate when compared to Hayden and his Mongoose.