CSK Captain MS Dhoni: “My innings was a crucial one. Delhi has a very good bowling attack. They exploited the conditions well, so we knew it would be tough. I’ve not done a lot in the tournament, so wanted to look for the ball and see what the bowler can do. I was batting well in the nets. But wasn’t thinking too much, if you think too much while batting then you mess your plans up. Shardul has done decent batting, as has Deepak. He/they are allowed to go for the shots from first ball unlike other top-order batters. Robin enjoys batting at the top but Moeen has been excellent at No. 3. But we have created a situation where either of them could bat at No. 3 depending on the situation and the opposition. Whenever Ruturaj and I have a chat, its a simple chat. Want to know what he was thinking. Its good to see how well he has improved. He is someone willing to bat 20 overs. Last season was the first time we didnt qualify into playoffs. But we wanted to just make use of the 3-4 games left last season, and a lot of our batters made use of that. That is the reason why we have come back strongly this season.
Man of the Match Ruturaj Gaikwad (70): “I try to stay neutral. Every game is new so need to start afresh, need to start new. The powerplay was the crucial stage, the wicket was holding a little bit. Robin batted really well, took on bowlers. It got easier for me to stay there till the end. At times you have to take the odd risk. You have to take it one over at a time, so that required rate doesnt go up too much. Want to stay humble.”
From Delhi leader Pant “Obviously it is very disappointing, and I can’t have enough words to describe how we are feeling. [Decision for the last over?] I thought Tom bowled beautifully throughout the match, and so I thought better to use him for the last over. The score was decent, and they got off to a flier. That was the main difference. We are going to rectify our mistakes, learn from it and hopefully, we can move on and play the final.”
|Prithvi Shaw||c Faf du Plessis b Ravindra Jadeja||60||34||7||3||176.47|
|Shikhar Dhawan||c MS Dhoni b Josh Hazlewood||7||7||1||0||100|
|Shreyas Iyer||c Ruturaj Gaikwad b Josh Hazlewood||1||8||0||0||12.5|
|Axar Patel||caught(sub) b Moeen Ali||10||11||1||0||90.91|
|Rishabh Pant||not out||51||35||3||2||145.71|
|Shimron Hetmyer||c Ravindra Jadeja b Dwayne Bravo||37||24||3||1||154.17|
|Tom Curran||not out||0||1||0||0||0|
|Total||(20 Ov, RR: 8.6)||172/5|
|Ruturaj Gaikwad||c Axar Patel b Avesh Khan||70||50||5||2||140|
|Faf du Plessis||b Anrich Nortje||1||2||0||0||50|
|Robin Uthappa||c Shreyas Iyer b Tom Curran||63||44||7||2||143.18|
|Shardul Thakur||c Shreyas Iyer b Tom Curran||0||1||0||0||0|
|Ambati Rayudu||run out (Shreyas Iyer)||1||3||0||0||33.33|
|Moeen Ali||c Kagiso Rabada b Tom Curran||16||12||2||0||133.33|
|MS Dhoni||not out||18||6||3||1||300|
|Total||(19.39 Ov, RR: 8.91)||173/6|
In what was an extremely thrilling contest, MS Dhoni brilliant cameo saw Chennai Super Kings beat Delhi Capitals and make it into their ninth IPL final.
DC got off to a blistering start courtesy of a stunning innings by Prithvi Shaw, who eventually smashed 63. A 49-run stand between Shimron Hetmyer and Rishabh Pant saw DC finish at 172/5 – a defendable enough total, or so most thought.
But CSK came out all guns blazing, and while they lost Faf du Plessis in the first over, Robin Uthappa and Ruturaj Gaikwad were unfazed as they gave their side the exact start they needed. Dhoni finished the game off with an unbeaten six-ball 18, leading CSK to a well-earned IPL final spot.
It is playoffs time in this 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and an in-form Delhi Capitals (DC) face a stumbling Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Qualifier 1. These are the two teams who’ve been consistent throughout the league and finished at the top two spots on the points table. However, both teams are coming off losses from their last matches.
Delhi lost Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in what was a thrilling last-ball finish. DC only have themselves to blame. They were very poor in the field and dropped a slew of catches. Add to that, numerous errors in the field. But overall, the 2020 finalists have been excellent throughout this season and topped the league stage with 10 wins and four losses (two of those losses came against RCB). It is the bowling that has been the strength for DC and they have really driven this side. The batting has been inconsistent in this UAE leg and they will be looking to make amends in the knockouts.
Meanwhile, CSK are coming into the playoffs with three consecutive losses. In each of those three games, the MS Dhoni-led side batted first and they couldn’t get going in two of those games, ending up with scores of under 140. Their batting has been reliant on the openers, Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad, both of whom have got 500+ runs individually. The middle-order has blown hot and cold. The likes of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina have struggled big time. Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja have fared decently. The bowling has gone off the boil as well and the three-time champions might be slightly worried.
Delhi have won each of the last four games against CSK, including the two these two sides have played in this tournament.
Marcus Stoinis has been on the sidelines for a major part of this tournament due to an injury. However, he could well be fit in time for the big games and if he is, the Australian seam-bowling all-rounder is likely to replace Ripal Patel.
Chennai Super Kings
Suresh Raina has now missed a couple of games due to injury as well. CSK head coach Stephen Fleming didn’t have many updates about his fitness. If the veteran left-hander is fit, he will come in place of Robin Uthappa.
Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Marcus Stoinis/Ripal Patel, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan, Anrich Nortje
Chennai Super Kings: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Robin Uthappa/Suresh Raina, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood
Anrich Nortje: Anrich Nortje has been absolutely magnificent with the ball for Delhi Capitals. The South African fast bowler didn’t play a single game in the India leg. But he has been one of the standout bowlers in this second half of the IPL 2021. He has returned with nine wickets from six games and he has an economy rate of 5.59. That economy rate of 5.59 is the best for any bowler who has bowled at least 15 overs in this edition. Be it with the new ball or at the death, Nortje has delivered for Delhi. Thus, he is going to be the key once again.
Anrich Nortje Top Wicket Taker Delhi Capitals @3.50 (5/2)Has Bowled Eight of the Top 10 Fastest Balls in IPL and has 9 wickets in 6 matches
Ruturaj Gaikwad: Ruturaj Gaikwad is batting beautifully in this tournament. The 24-year-old Maharashtra-born opener has been in consistent form and has amassed 533 runs at an average of 137.01. He smashed a stunning hundred (101 not out) against Rajasthan Royals a couple of games ago. But since then, he hasn’t got going and that has affected CSK a little. He has scores of 13 and 12 in the last two games and CSK have been dependant on him at the top alongside Faf du Plessis.
Gaikwad, Ruturaj to score a Half-Century @2.95Gaikwad has scored 533 from 14 matches and average of 44. The last 2 games have been lean but the previous matches saw scores of 101*, 45, 40, 38 & 88
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