Chennai: Gautam Gambhir cracked an unbeaten 57 as Delhi Daredevils spanked Chennai Super Kings by six wickets in a low-scoring IPL match to virtually seal a semifinal berth on Thursday.
Captain Gambhir led a remarkable recovery with a resolute batting display with Mithun Manhas (25 not out) after his side made a messy start in the run chase of 113 by losing their top three batsmen for just six runs in the second over.
The duo shared 75 runs from 70 balls for the unfinished fifth wicket as Delhi romped home with eight balls to spare and snap their three-match losing streak at MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Gambhir, who fought dehydration by applying water on his head and body on few occasions, struck five fours in his 56-ball innings, his second IPL3 half century, and hit the winning runs, a two, as Delhi reached 113 for four in 18.4 overs on a pitch which offered turn to slow bowlers .
Delhi Daredevils captain Gautam Gambhir celebrates with his teammate M Manhas after win over Chennai Super Kings during the IPL3 match in Chennai on Thursday. R Senthil Kumar/PTI
Earlier, Chennai Super Kings could make just 112 for nine after electing to bat with left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra taking three wickets for 26 to lead a superb bowling display by Delhi Daredevils.
With this win, their seventh in 13 matches, Delhi are virtually in the semifinals with 14 points. They play Deccan Chargers at home in their last league match on 18 April.
Despite the loss, Chennai are still not out of semifinal race with 12 points from 13 matches though the paltry total after batting first took down their net run rate to plus 0.270.
Pacer Dough Bollinger was the most successful bowler with two wickets for 24 runs in his four overs, while Ravichandran Ashwin and Shadab Jakati got a wicket apiece.
Delhi made a disastrous start in their run chase, losing their top three wickets for just six in the second over and looked like throwing away the match before Gambhir and Manhas rescued them.
Chennai Super Kings: 112 for nine in 20 overs (S Badrinath 30; Ashish Nehra 3/26).
Delhi Daredevils: 113 for four in 18.4 overs (Gautam Gambhir 57 not out; Doug Bollinger 2/24).