Brilliant half-centuries openers Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw inspired Delhi Capitals to an opening seven-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in the India Premier League.
Chennai were asked to bat when Rishabh Pant won the toss and recovered well from the early losses of Faf du Plessis for nought and Ruturaj Gaikwad to post 188-7, Suresh Raina top scoring with 54.
But Dhawan (85) and Shaw (72) scythed into what looked like a daunting chase with a stunning stand of 139 for the first wicket and skipper Pant (15 not out) was there to see the Capitals home with eight deliveries to spare.
Chris Woakes (2-18) and Avesh Khan (2-23) set the tone for Delhi as Chennai slumped to 7-2 and the seamers also returned to fine effect – Avesh persuading veteran captain MS Dhoni to drag on for a duck and Woakes bowling fellow England all-rounder Sam Curran with the final ball of the innings.
Curran plundered 34 from 15 deliveries, including two sixes off brother Tom (1-40), in a breezy effort alongside Ravindra Jadeja (26 not out), their 51-run partnership capitalising upon a rebuilding job impressively helmed by Raina.
The India batsman ploughed Marcus Stoinis over for his fourth maximum to reach 50 off 32 balls and he received useful support from Moeen Ali (36) and Ambati Rayudu (23).
A dire mix-up, during which Jadeja collided with Avesh, saw Raina run out amid a slump of three wickets for 14 runs – a blip that proved costly as Dhawan and Shaw took the Super Kings attack apart.
They motored at around 10-an-over for the majority of their partnership. Shaw had faced only 38 balls, hitting nine fours and three sixes, by the time he skewed Dwayne Bravo (1-38) to Moeen and there was little remaining doubt about the outcome when Dhawan was trapped lbw by Shardul Thakur (2-53).
Dhawan takes his fielding prowess to the crease.
India opener Dhawan had already had a significant say on the contest before he started making minced meat of the Super Kings bowling, even if his glorious straight-driven six off Curran in the fourth over was more a piece of the most prime steak. He took a sharp low chance at slip off Woakes to account for Gaikwad and clung on to two more in the deep to prevent Moeen and Rayudu from turning their impressive starts into something more substantial.
Ashwin off the mark
Ravichandran Ashwin's performances in India's Test series triumph over England underlined his status as the world's premier spinner. However, the shorter formats can make mugs of the best bowlers and the off-spin master was clattered to all parts, his sole wicket cost 47 runs and came when Mooen tried to make it three successive sixes.