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Gambhir leads Delhi to victory

Delhi dealt Chennai semi-final hopes a blow with a six-wicket win in a low-scoring IPL match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni opted to bat first on a rare bowler-friendly surface, but Chennai suffered a collapse and were restricted to a paltry 112 for nine.

Delhi too lost early wickets, but captain Gautam Gambhir (57 not out) struck a superb half-century and Mithun Manhas (25 not out) turned in a steady display as they overhauled the target with eight deliveries to spare.

Delhi moved to third in the table and Chennai slipped to fourth, but Dhoni's side now have to win their final game against Mohali and hope the other results go their way to progress.

Chennai were undone by a combination of smart bowling, a fairly solid performance in the field from Delhi and poor shot selection.

Matthew Hayden, who was dropped by Gambhir even before he could get off the mark, stepped out to hoist Ashish Nehra over the top in the second over, but only managed an edge which looped up and Paul Collingwood took an excellent catch running back from cover.

Dhoni, who promoted himself to three in the order, pulled a short ball from Dirk Nannes straight to short square-leg and Murali Vijay too was undone by the short ball, Nehra picking up his second wicket in his first spell.

Suresh Raina and Michael Hussey briefly arrested the slide, but Delhi's part-time spinners turned the screw once the field was pushed back.

It's all about numbers

Tillakaratne Dilshan removed Raina just before the first strategic break and Hussey was Virender Sehwag's first victim, the Western Australian left-hander falling in the first over after play resumed.

Sehwag removed Albie Morkel in the same over and Chennai were left with only one recognised batsman in Subramaniam Badrinath (30) at the crease at the halfway stage.

Badrinath was cautious and added 35 in just under four overs for the ninth wicket with Doug Bollinger (16 not out), a stand which gave the total some respectability.

Chennai roared right back into contention with the early wickets of David Warner, Sehwag and Dilshan - blows which had left Delhi reeling at six for three.

Top Performer: Gautam Gambhir

Gambhir, however, turned in a calm display and stitched together a useful partnership with Dinesh Karthik which gave the visitors some momentum.

Karthik too perished to a short ball, but Gambhir found excellent support in Manhas and the duo brought Delhi back on course for victory.

Gambhir reached his half-century off 51 deliveries and with only his fifth boundary and went on to add 75 with Manhas as Delhi clinched victory.
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