IPL 2021 Playoffs, DC vs CSK (Qualifier 1): Ruturaj Gaikwad's heroics places Chennai in the final
Chennai Super Kings held its nerves to topple Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 1 of the playoffs and reach the final of the IPL 2021. Meanwhile, DC will have to try its luck again through Qualifier 2.
Former champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK) came up with a calm and composed performance to overthrow Delhi Capitals by four wickets in the Qualifier 1 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 playoffs at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. While CSK is into the final, DC will have to try its luck in Qualifier 2 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) or Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who play tomorrow.
Winning the toss, CSK skipper MS Dhoni opted to bat, moving in with the same XI, while DC skipper Rishabh Pant made a change, bringing in Tom Curran for Ripal Patel. DC was off to a great start but lost a couple of wickets in the Powerplay, with 50 ruins on the board, as Shikhar Dhawan (7) and Shreyas Iyer (1) fell to pacer Josh Hazlewood.
It was followed by a 27-run stand between opener Prithvi Shaw (60) and Axar Patel (10), as Shaw brought up his tenth IPL half-century before the latter fell to spinner Moeen Ali in the tenth, followed by the former, at 80, to spinner Ravindra Jadeja in the following over. Nevertheless, it was succeeded by a brilliant 83-run stand between Rishabh Pant (51*) and Shimron Hetmyer (37), which helped DC post a respectable total.
As Hetmyer fell in the 19th over to pacer Dwayne Bravo, Pant continued to contribute and bringing up his 15th IPL half-century in the process, while DC posted an above-par total of 172/5. CSK put six bowlers into the attack, with Hazlewood claiming a couple, while Moeen was the most economical of all.
Coming out for the chase, CSK lost Faf du Plessis (1) early, in the opening over, to pacer Anrich Nortje. However, it was followed by a massive 110-run stand between Ruturaj Gaikwad (70) and Robin Uthappa (63) that set the stage for the chase.
As Uthappa scored his 24th IPL half-century, it was in the 14th over that pacer Curran dismissed him in the 14th over, followed by Shardul Thakur (0) in the same over, at 117. A couple of runs later, Ambati Rayudu (1) was run out in the subsequent over, bringing DC back into the game.
However, a crucial 30-run stand was pursued between Gaikwad and Moeen Ali (16), as the former scored his sixth IPL 50 and departed to pacer Avesh Khan in the 19th, at 149, followed by the latter to Curran in the next over, 11 runs later. However, Dhoni hit four successive boundaries to seal the final berth by four wickets, with a couple of balls to spare.
DC utilised six bowlers, with Curran claiming three. However, it was pacer Kagiso Rabada and spinner Axar who were the most economical.
Brief scores: DC 172/5 (Shaw- 60, Pant- 51*, Hetmyer- 37; Hazlewood- 2/29) lost to CSK 173/6 in 19.4 overs (Gaikwad- 70, Uthappa- 63; Curran- 3/29) by four wickets.