Chennai Super Kings reached the final of the 2021 Indian Premier League after beating Delhi Capitals by 4 wickets in a nail-biting finish.
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa starred in the chase but it was their captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who stole the show at the end.
Get the full story below.
Quick Stats from the game
- Delhi Capitals: 172-5
- Chennai Super Kings: 173-6
- Toss Winner: CSK, elected to field first
- Top Batsman: Ruturaj Gaikwad
- Top Bowler: Tom Curran
Delhi’s Batsmen Flex their Depth
Having lost the toss, Delhi Capitals were made to bat first – but it didn’t seem that big of a problem considering the form of their batters.
As usual, Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan opened for DC but Dhawan succumbed quite early to Josh Hazelwood, possibly due to the nerves. The same thing happened to Shreyas Iyer a few moments later as he departed after scoring just one run.
However, Shaw was in fine form on Sunday and emerged as the team’s leading batsman for the evening – in fact, we at Bet India even called it in our prediction for this match.
The Indian scored a handsome half-century but he couldn’t stay for long, getting out in the 11th over to Ravindra Jadeja.
DC Top Batsmen
- Prithvi Shaw: 60 off 34; 7 4s, 3 6s
- Rishabh Pant: 51 off 35; 3 4s, 2 6s
CSK Top Bowlers
- Josh Hazelwood: 2-29, 4 overs
- Moeen Ali: 1-27, 4 overs
However, Delhi Capitals’ batting depth has been quite enviable this season and they displayed the same in this match too. After Axar Patel got out at just 10 runs, Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer (37 off 24) stitched a wonderful partnership, adding 88 runs between them.
The duo guided the team in the second half of the inning, which ultimately led the Capitals to post 172-5. It could have been a bit higher, had it not been for Hetmyer’s wicket in the 19th over.
Nonetheless, it was a good score to defend against the Super Kings, especially with the kind of bowling attack they were fielding for the match.
Gaikwad, Uthappa Step up for CSK, Dhoni Brings it Home
Chennai Super Kings started the inning on a shaky note, losing Faf du Plessis in just the third delivery of the game. Anrich Nortje got the wicket of his compatriot, leaving CSK at 3-1.
However, with Ruturaj Gaikwad at the helm, there were plenty of reasons for MS Dhoni & co. to be optimistic about their chances. This time, Robin Uthappa also rose to the occasion and batted with panache.
The two batsmen steered the inning smartly, each scoring a half-century to bring Chennai closer to yet another Indian Premier League final.
However, things took a turn when Uthappa got out in the 14th over with Chennai now at 113-2.
CSK Top Batsmen
- Ruturaj Gaikwad : 70 off 50; 5 4s, 2 6s
- Robin Uthappa: 63 off 44; 7 4s, 2 6s
DC Top Bowlers
- Tom Curran: 3-29, 3.4 overs
- Anrich Nortje: 1-31, 4 overs
As seen in the past, the break in momentum has often led to the downfall of the batting side. Uthappa’s wicket was followed by a couple more in quick succession, notably that of Shardul Thakur and Ambatai Rayudu. Chennai Super Kings had lost 3 wickets while scoring just 6 runs, to find themselves at 119-4 in 14.4 overs.
The asking rate was climbing up steadily at this point but Gaikwad was still on the crease, now accompanied by Moeen Ali.
The final few overs of CSK’s innings were nothing short of a blockbuster Bollywood movie with twists and turns. Gaikwad got out early in the 19th over, leaving the onus on MS Dhoni to seal the deal. By then, he had dealt the damage and reduced the equation to doable.
Dhoni struck a six on his second ball to set the theme for the end game.
Quintessential Dhoni to the Rescue
The ask was 13 off 6 with Dhoni and Ali on the pitch. Tom Curran was tasked with delivering the final over.
Ali’s wicket in the first ball was followed by consecutive fours from Dhoni, effectively tilting the match back in CSK’s favour. A wide ball later, Dhoni smashed another four to win the match by four wickets. Chennai Super Kings concluded their inning at 173-6, with Dhoni scoring 18 off 6 deliveries.
The captain cool brought home the win for CSK and guided them to their ninth IPL final.
As for Delhi Capitals, they will have another chance to reach the final when they take on the winner of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier 2.
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