MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings booked their place in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 as they beat Delhi Capitals by four wickets in Qualifier 1 on Sunday. Chasing 173, the winning runs came off the bat of the CSK skipper, who reached the crease in a difficult position but made sure he got the job done.
Dhoni played an unbeaten knock of 18 runs in 6 balls, which included 3 fours and 1 six. The wicketkeeper-batsman joined the proceedings when CSK lost in-form opener Ruturaj Gaikwad on the first ball of the 19th over, with the team still needing 24 runs from 11 balls.
Dhoni wasted no time and made his intentions clear when he faced the second ball, in which he smashed Avesh Khan for a long six over the deep mid-wicket fence. He then hit Tom Curran for three consecutive fours as CSK chased down the target with two balls to spare.
— harsha bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 10 October 2021
With this, CSK reached their ninth IPL final. Capitals, who finished runners-up in the previous edition, still have a chance to join CSK in the final. The Rishabh Pant-led unit will now lock horns with the winner of the Eliminator clash between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier 2.
– Indian Premier League (@IPL) 10 October 2021
It was not just Dhoni for CSK as openers Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa made some valuable contributions with the bat. Both the batsmen formed a crucial partnership for the second wicket, which turned the match in favor of CSK.
Gaikwad scored 70 runs in 50 balls, while senior team member Uthappa scored 63 runs in 44 balls.
Earlier in the evening, Capitals captain Pant displayed his muscle power and hit a one-handed six off Shardul Thakur, the ball going 86 meters over the mid-wicket area. Pant’s powerful drive came as he was trying to reach a low full toss off the second ball of the 16th over.
— simran (@cowcorner9) 10 October 2021
Riding on some brutal hits from Pant and Shimron Hetmyer, Capitals posted a challenging 172/5 in their 20 overs. Pant played an unbeaten knock of 51 off 35 balls while Hetmyer made 37 off 24 balls as the pair added 83 runs for the fifth wicket.
Capitals opener Prithvi Shaw also displayed some intense hitting and gave his team the start they were hoping for. He added 60 runs in 34 balls, which included 7 fours and 3 sixes.