On Sunday night, Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) hammered Delhi Capitals (DC) in Qualifier 1 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 to qualify for the finals. With this terrific win by 4-wickets CSK managed to enter the finals for the 9th time in the history of the tournament.
In Dubai Qualifiers, Delhi failed to defend to a decent total of 172 runs and ended up losing a close match. Earlier in the match, DC faced quite a hard time following the dismissal of Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer by CSK pacer Josh Hazelwood (2 off 29). However, Prithvi Shaw’s impressive 60-run knock off 34 balls and Rishabh Pants 51 off 35 balls allowed them to finish with 172 for 5 in 20 overs.
Even though CSK opening duo of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis failed, Ruturaj and Rabin Uthappa’s 110-run stand was enough to put CSK back in the game. Ruturaj was flamboyant with his 70 runs off 50 balls while Uthappa redeemed himself with his 63 runs off 44 balls. Captain Dhoni also returned to his role as an expert finisher as he finished the match in the 19th over with his 18-run knock. He remained unbeaten after scoring one six and three boundaries as he stitched the victory of CSK.
The match remained the witness of CSK’s return to their vintage self following a disastrous run in the previous instalment of the tournament. Dhoni quite efficiently kept his promise of coming back stronger. Shedding lights on his batting strategy, CSK skipper said in the post-match conference, “It was a crucial innings. They were using the bigger boundary very well. Nothing special, just watch the ball and hit the ball. I haven’t done a lot in the tournament. So you want to get that out of the system.”
On the other hand, it was not at all a good day for DC captain Rishabh Pant who looked dejected after missing a close win. He said, “Obviously it’s very disappointing, I don’t have enough words to describe how we are feeling right now. The only thing we can do is rectify our mistakes and move on to the next one.”
However, the hope to reach the finals is still alive for the team DC as it will be travelling to Sharjah to play Qualifier 2 on Wednesday. DC will face the winner of Monday’s eliminator between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
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