Delhi beats Chennai to leap into IPL lead

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Delhi Capitals have hung in to beat Chennai Super Kings by three wickets in a contest between the Indian Premier League's top two.

Delhi's victory meant they leaped above Chennai on Monday with a round to go in the group stage. Both teams have already qualified for the play-offs but a top-two place offers a shorter route to the October 15 final.

Shimron Hetmyer, dropped on 12 in Delhi's chase, went on to make an unbeaten 28 off 18 balls to give his side a winning 7-139 with two balls to spare.

Chennai had struggled to 6-136 after Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant won the toss on his 24th birthday and opted to field first.

"Not a bad birthday present," Pant said.

Axar Patel (2-18) and Ashwin (1-20) tied down Chennai despite Ambati Rayudu scoring a 43-ball knock of 55.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni couldn't score a boundary in making 18 runs off 27 balls before edging to Pant in the last over.

"It's a two-paced wicket, some balls come to you and some don't," Dhoni said. "It's not a placid wicket where you can play your shots. It was a very good effort (by the bowlers), but it was important not to give away too many in the first six overs."

That referenced Delhi's fast start. They had reached 1-51 in the sixth over when Josh Hazelwood (1-27) dismissed Shreyas Iyer.

Though Delhi's scoring rate slowed they remained on track, but Shardul Thakur's (2-13) twin strikes in the 15th over brought Chennai hope. The fast bowler clean bowled Ravichandran Ashwin, then Shikhar Dhawan (39) was brilliantly taken in the covers by Moeen Ali.

But Chennai wasted a good opportunity to snatch a win when substitute fielder Krishnappa Gowtham missed a dolly catch off Hetmyer at long on. The ball burst through his hands and crossed the boundary for four, putting Delhi on course for top spot.

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