Suresh Raina hits out during his superb innings for Chennai Super Kings against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi on Monday night. Ravindranath K / The National
Suresh Raina hits out during his superb innings for Chennai Super Kings against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi on Monday night. Ravindranath K / The National

Chennai Super Kings raise game to thrash Delhi Daredevils



If Faf du Plessis is impressed by a fielding unit, then you can be sure that it is some unit he is talking about. A day before Chennai Super Kings game against the Delhi Daredevils, Du Plessis reckoned Chennai’s inner ring fielders were the best he had worked with.

This, coming from a man who is among the very best in the world himself. Furthermore, on national duty, he plays for South Africa, which is arguably the best fielding side in the world, the team that has done more than any to modernise fielding.

Chennai were pretty poor in the field in their opening game loss to King's XI Punjab last week. But players and officials were keen to point out afterwards that it was a very, very rare off day for them.

On Monday evening at the Zayed stadium, as they comfortably overcame Delhi Daredevils by 93 runs to kickstart this season, it was difficult to argue with du Plessis’s assessment.

Three outstanding outfield catches within the first five overs saw the back of Delhi’s top order. The South African was at the heart, taking two stunning catches running back over his shoulder each time from mid-off. That came after Suresh Raina ran back from cover to hold on to a miscue from Mayank Agarwal.

To those two add Brendon McCullum and Ravinder Jadeja and if Chennai’s bowling might hamper them this season, their fielding will do everything in its power to make up for it. That inner circle is near-impregnable.

In any case, the bowling was far meaner than it was when failing to defend 205 against Punjab. They made three changes to the line-up, bringing in Ben Hilfenhaus, Mithun Manhas and Ishwar Pandey. Out went Ashish Nehra (which automatically lifts the fielding standards), Pawan Negi and Dwayne Bravo.

The last was an enforced absence and the sole bit of bad news for the two-time champions. The shoulder injury he picked up in the first game has ruled him out for the season. Outside the fielders, Pandey and Hilfenhaus were most responsible in revitalising Chennai. The Australian in particular found evening conditions under the lights particularly helpful, producing beautifully-shaped outswingers to keep Delhi under constant pressure.

To nobody’s surprise, the batsmen had earlier kept up their end of the bargain again. They had begun slowly, but were revived by the batsman who in so many ways symbolises the batting bounty the IPL has reaped for India.

Raina is the league’s all-time leading scorer and, as he cruised to a 19th IPL fifty, showed again why that is the case. As ever there was hustling from the off, the large Zayed stadium outfield perfectly maneouvred for a series of doubles.

In and around those he decorated his hand with the money shots, clean lofts over wide mid-off, little decisive flips over fine leg, a dance-down straight six and those familiar ungainly heaves through off and leg. Chennai accelerated coolly around him, through du Plessis and MS Dhoni.

Their innings crescendoed perfectly. The first fifty came at a run a ball, the next off 33 and the final off just 25. They pillaged 58 runs from the last fours and given how they later fielded, even half that would have seen them home comfortably.

osamiuddin@thenational.ae

Follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SprtNationalUAE

UAE squad

Men's draw: Victor Scvortov and Khalifa Al Hosani, (both 73 kilograms), Sergiu Toma and Mihail Marchitan (90kg), Ivan Remarenco (100kg), Ahmed Al Naqbi (60kg), Musabah Al Shamsi and Ahmed Al Hosani (66kg)

Women’s draw: Maitha Al Neyadi (57kg)

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Stars: Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, Simon Pegg
Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

MATCH RESULT

Al Jazira 3 Persepolis 2
Jazira:
Mabkhout (52'), Romarinho (77'), Al Hammadi (90'+6)
Persepolis: Alipour (42'), Mensha (84')

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

PROFILE BOX:

Company/date started: 2015

Founder/CEO: Rami Salman, Rishav Jalan, Ayush Chordia

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: Technology, Sales, Voice, Artificial Intelligence

Size: (employees/revenue) 10/ 100,000 downloads

Stage: 1 ($800,000)

Investors: Eight first-round investors including, Beco Capital, 500 Startups, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Hala Fadel, Odin Financial Services, Dubai Angel Investors, Womena, Arzan VC

 

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Mental health support in the UAE

● Estijaba helpline: 8001717
● UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention hotline: 045192519
● UAE Mental health support line: 800 4673 (Hope)
More information at hope.hw.gov.ae

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Director: Peyton Reed

Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas

Three stars

RESULTS

Bantamweight: Jalal Al Daaja (JOR) beat Hamza Bougamza (MAR)

Catchweight 67kg: Mohamed El Mesbahi (MAR) beat Fouad Mesdari (ALG)

Lightweight: Abdullah Mohammed Ali (UAE) beat Abdelhak Amhidra (MAR)

Catchweight 73kg: Mosatafa Ibrahim Radi (PAL) beat Yazid Chouchane (ALG)

Middleweight: Yousri Belgaroui (TUN) beat Badreddine Diani (MAR)

Catchweight 78KG: Rashed Dawood (UAE) beat Adnan Bushashy (ALG)

Middleweight: Sallah-Eddine Dekhissi (MAR) beat Abdel Enam (EGY)

Catchweight 65kg: Yanis Ghemmouri (ALG) beat Rachid Hazoume (MAR)

Lightweight: Mohammed Yahya (UAE) beat Azouz Anwar (EGY)

Catchweight 79kg: Souhil Tahiri (ALG) beat Omar Hussein (PAL)

Middleweight: Tarek Suleiman (SYR) beat Laid Zerhouni (ALG)

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices


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