IPL 2018: Analysis of Kerala pacer KM Asif's debut performance for Chennai Super Kings

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Chennai Super Kings defeated Delhi Daredevils by 13 runs in the IPL on Monday. Kerala fast bowler KM Asif, playing his first game in the IPL for Chennai, picked up two wickets.

Chennai batted first and amassed 211 for four. Opener Shane Watson scored 78 while captain MS Dhoni hit an unbeaten 51.

In reply, the Daredevils made a valiant effort as they reached 198 for five with Rishabh Pant (79) and all-rounder Vijay Shankar (54) taking the team close.

With Chennai on top of the IPL table, here’s a look at fast bowler Asif’s debut performance.

STATISTICS

OVERS: 3

RUNS CONCEDED: 43

WICKETS: 2

ECONOMY:  14.3

30-SECOND REPORT

It was an inspiring performance by Asif. The opening burst by the 24-year-old was commendable as he got the scalps of Prithvi Shaw and Colin Munro through sheer pace. Asif, a product of the MRF Pace Foundation who is known to operate in the 140kph range, hurried most batsmen in Pune with his quick arm action. He beat Shaw and Munro on the pull shot, which is a great sight for fast bowlers.

GOT RIGHT

His pace and short-pitch deliveries were spot on. Asif didn’t take a step back even when Munro hit him for three successive boundaries, getting the Daredevils opener’s wicket off the final ball of the over. While he isn’t the tallest bowler going around, Asif showed great heart and must surely be on the radar of national selectors as India prepare for a long season away from home.

GOT WRONG

Gave away 43 runs. While the wickets section was encouraging, an economy of close to 15 is not acceptable. On a day when Daredevils quick Avesh Khan gave away 28 runs from his four and Chennai’s Lungi Ngidi just 26, Asif’s 43 runs from three stick out like a sore thumb. However, the fact that he picked up two top order wickets should keep Asif in the good books of Chennai’s management.

VERDICT: 6.5/10

Could have been an eight on debut but gave away too many runs. Overall, an impressive debut for Asif. He is the second fast bowler from Kerala to make an impact this IPL after Basil Thampi.

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IPL 2018: Watson and Dhoni take CSK top with win over Delhi Daredevils

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Watson top-scored for Chennai with 78 from 40 balls. Image: BCCI.

Chennai Super Kings stormed to the top of the IPL table with a 13-run win over Delhi Daredevils on Monday.

Batting first, the Super Kings stormed to 211 for four with opener Shane Watson hitting 78 from 40 balls while captain MS Dhoni cracked 51 not out from just 22 balls as the Chennai crossed the 200-run mark for the fourth time this season.

In reply, bottom-placed Daredevils made a valiant effort before finishing on 198-5 as they slumped to their sixth defeat of the season.

Watson on song

Chennai’s Aussie opener Shane Watson has been in fine form this season. He has hit a 42 and a century this season and on Monday turned up the heat with an attacking 78 that included seven sixes and four boundaries.

He teamed up with Faf du Plessis, adding 102 runs inside 11 overs, as the Super Kings batsmen went berserk on a Pune wicket that had a generous covering of grass.

Avesh holds his own

Delhi fast bowler Avesh Khan has been a revelation this season. Bowling over 90mph regularly, the burly quick has proven to be difficult to dispatch. While the rest of the bowlers struggled to contain the runs, Khan gave away just 28 runs from his four overs. He could have had the wicket of Dhoni but Colin Munro dropped him at mid-wicket in the 19th over.

Dhoni magic

Dhoni's strike this season is close to 170.

Dhoni’s strike this season is close to 170.

Wicketkeeper batsman Dhoni has been batting with more freedom this season. His batting looks effortless and his 286 runs from eight games have come at a strike rate of nearly 170.

On Monday, Dhoni spared no bowler as he hit five sixes and two fours during his 22-ball stay. His innings, along with Ambati Rayudu’s 41 from 24, took the game well beyond Delhi’s grasp.

Asif and Ngidi shine

With a total of more than 200 to defend, Chennai unleashed their debutant pacers – South Africa’s Lungi Ngidi and Kerala quick KM Asif. Ngidi’s (1-26) first two overs went for just seven runs and Asif’s were even better.

Asif (2-43) took the scalps of openers Prithivi Shaw and Munro, beating both batsmen for pace. Chennai might have lost the services of the reliable Deepak Chahar but have gained a quality Indian quick in Asif.

Pant and Shankar put up a fight

Delhi batsman Rishabh Pant challenged the Chennai bowlers. Batting at number four, the left-handed batsman struck 79 from 45 deliveries. All-rounder Vijay Shankar fought until the end, hitting 54 not out from 31 but it wasn’t to be.

As the Daredevils’ season goes from bad to worse, the performances of youngsters like Pant, captain Shreyas Iyer and pacer Khan should give them some confidence going forward.

Pant is quickly establishing himself as the best wicketkeeping option among the next generation of Indian cricketers and should find himself in the mix as soon as Dhoni calls it a day.

Harbhajan does the job

Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh might not be in the mix for national duty but he is doing just fine this IPL. His economy rate against Delhi was a respectable 6.5 from four overs to go with a season rate of 7.6. While the consensus is that finger spinners struggle in modern day limited-overs cricket, Harbhajan proved that there is space for quality cricketers to prosper.

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IPL 2018 already close to becoming most batsman-friendly season in history

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Chennai's 211-4 was the 10th total of 200-plus this season. Image: BCCI

Chennai Super Kings amassed 211 for four against Delhi Daredevils in the IPL on Monday. Chennai opener Shane Watson smashed 78 off 40 balls while wicket-keeper and captain MS Dhoni hit a stunning 51 not out off 22 balls as the Super Kings reached their fourth total of 200 or more this season.

It was the tenth time teams had reached or crossed the 200 run mark in the IPL in this edition. The match between Chennai and Delhi was the 30th of the season, which means on an average every third match of the tournament is witnessing a total of 200 or more.

If such a scoring rate continues, this year’s IPL could well end up with close to 20 scores of 200 or more given there are 60 games this season.

In fact, this year is just one short of the 2008 opening campaign when 11 scores of 200 or more were registered. Keep in mind all seasons have had close to 60 matches depending upon number of teams participating, the run-scoring in this season of the IPL has been sensational.

In 2009, there was just one score of 200 or more as the tournament was held in South Africa. The next year saw nine scores in excess of 200. The tally in subsequent seasons reads: five, five, four, nine, seven, six and 10 scores of more than 200.

The absence of premier fast bowlers like Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada along with flat wickets have been a factor this year. Even so, the number of 200 plus totals are staggering.

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