After a century partnership of 110 runs for the second wicket between openers Rituraj Gaikwad (70) and Robin Uthappa (63), Chennai Super Kings scored a thrilling first qualifier match on the back of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s brilliant match-winning innings in the end over. They entered the final of IPL 2021 by defeating Delhi Capitals by four wickets. Chennai has reached the IPL final for the ninth time. Even after this defeat, Delhi still has a chance to reach the final. Delhi will now face the winner of the Eliminator match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah on Monday and the winner of that match will play the final against Chennai on October 15.
Batting first after losing the toss, Delhi scored 172 runs for five wickets, which Chennai achieved by losing six wickets with two balls to spare. Chasing the target of 173 runs from Delhi, Chennai Super Kings started poorly and the team lost the wicket of Faf du Plessis (1) on the score of three runs in the first over itself. Du Plessis was bowled by Enrique Nortje. After his dismissal, Robin Uthappa (63) and Rituraj Gaikwad (70) put on 110 runs in 77 balls for the second wicket to try to bring Chennai closer to victory. Uthappa completed his 25th fifty in IPL. He placed the boundary in Tom Curran’s over but was caught brilliantly by Shreyas Iyer. Uthappa hit seven fours and two sixes in 44 balls.
After Uthappa’s dismissal, Gaikwad completed his fourth half-century of the season and seventh of the IPL. However, Karan gave Delhi two successive successes in the same over by sending Shardul Thakur to the pavilion without opening the account in his same over. Chennai again lost the wicket of Ambati Rayudu (1) in the next over itself. However, Gaikwad held on to one end. Moeen Ali came to the crease of batting after Rayudu was dismissed. Chennai needed 24 runs in the last 12 balls when Gaikwad too was dismissed by Avesh Khan. Gaikwad scored 70 runs from 50 balls with the help of five fours and two sixes.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni came out to bat after Gaikwad was dismissed. In the last over, Chennai needed 13 runs to reach the final and then Tom Karan gave the sixth blow to Chennai by dismissing Ali (16). But Dhoni, taking full advantage of his experience, took Chennai to the final of the IPL for the ninth time by winning them by four wickets. Dhoni scored an unbeaten 18 runs in six balls with the help of three fours and a six. For Delhi, Tom Karan took three wickets while Enrique Nartje and Avesh Khan took one wicket each.
Earlier, after losing the toss, Delhi got to bat first and Shikhar Dhawan (7) and Prithvi Shaw (60) shared 36 runs in 20 balls for the first wicket. This time Dhawan could not do anything special and got out early. On the score of 7 runs to Dhawan, Josh Hazlewood was caught by Dhoni and sent to the pavilion. After this, Shreyas Iyer, who came to the crease, could not show anything special with the bat and became the second victim of Josh Hazlewood by scoring just one run. Axar Patel was promoted in the batting order by Pant and sent at number four, but Axar got caught in Moeen Ali’s spin trap and could only score 10 runs. Due to the continuous falling of wickets from one end, under pressure, Shaw also played a wrong shot on Jadeja’s ball and was dismissed for 60 runs in 34 balls.
After losing 4 wickets for 80 runs, Captain Pant and Shimron Hetmyer took over the team’s innings and shared 83 runs for the fifth wicket. Hetmyer was dismissed for 37, while Pant returned unbeaten on 51 off 35 balls. Pant hit three fours and two sixes while Hetmyer hit three fours and a six in 24 balls. Josh Hazlewood took two wickets for Chennai and Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali and Dwayne Bravo took one wicket each.