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IPL 2021 - DC vs CSK, 1st Qualifier - MSD still best finisher in business; CSK storm into Final

MS Dhoni seals it for CSK after scoring 12 off the Tom Curran's final over

Chennai Super Kings 173 for 6 (Ruturaj 70, Uthappa 63, Curran 29/3) beat Delhi Capitals 172 for 5 (Shaw 60, Pant 51*, Hazlewood 29/2) by four wickets

IPL 2021, CSK vs DC: Chennai Super Kings enter Indian Premier League final after beating Delhi Capitals by four wickets in Qualifier 1 in Dubai
MS Dhoni finished game against Delhi, scored 18 off 6 deliveries (BCCI/IPL)

Table-toppers Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings were at loggerheads in the first qualifier game in the 14th edition of IPL at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Chennai win toss, opt to field

Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to field. Chennai didn’t make any changes in their playing eleven from the previous game, while Delhi Capitals brought English pacer Tom Curran in place of Indian all-rounder Ripal Patel.

Shaw bestows cracking start

From the second over of the game, Delhi opener Prithvi Shaw started to wield his willow like a weapon, to send the balls over the rope. He struck two boundaries in an over of Josh Hazlewood. Also, Shaw punished another pacer Deepak Chahar with four consecutive fours in just the third over of the game.

Even if his partner Shikhar Dhawan went back to the dugout early after being caught behind the wicket by MS Dhoni off a beautiful out-swinging delivery of Hazlewood, Shaw continued to bat fearlessly.

Free-flowing hitting from Shaw forced Dhoni to bring their ace pacer, Shardul Thakur, into the attack. He created one opportunity of getting out Shaw with his slow bouncer, however, Dhoni dropped a difficult catch behind the wicket.

Delhi faltered in middle-overs

Former captain of Delhi Capitals, Shreyas Iyer came in at one down but got out while playing a lofted shot towards the on side, as the ball took the leading edge of the bat and went in the air, which was caught by Ruturaj Gaikwad at cover-point.

Surprisingly, Delhi sent all-rounder Axar Patel at two down in place of skipper Rishabh Pant. This experiment concluded early as Axar lost his wicket on 11 when he pulled a short ball bowled by Moeen Ali which took the top-edge of his bat and went straight into the safe hands of Mitchell Santner at long on.

Also, Shaw didn’t stay too long on the pitch, as he got out while playing a lofted inside out shot off the delivery of Ravindra Jadeja, as Proteas player Faf du Plessis caught him at long off. His whirlwind knock of 60 runs off just 34 balls consisted of seven fours and three mammoth sixes.

Hetmyer and Pant help Delhi reach 172

As Capitals’ innings looked in trouble after losing four wickets in just 11-odd overs, Caribbean batter Shimron Hetmyer joined skipper Rishabh Pant in the middle to bail their side out of trouble. Both batters played sensibly, as they were the last pair of recognised willow-wielders in the Delhi line-up.

Also, they found occasional boundaries including an extravagant one-handed six by Pant off the delivery of Shardul Thakur. His partner Hetmyer also smacked some powerful shots down the ground by using depth of crease. Hetmyer got out on 37 off 24 balls while hitting a slower delivery of Dwayne Bravo towards long on, as Jadeja took his catch. Pant helped Delhi reach 172 in 20 overs with his swashbuckling knock of 51 runs off 35 balls, comprising of three boundaries and two sixes.

IPL 2021, CSK vs DC: Chennai Super Kings enter Indian Premier League final after beating Delhi Capitals by four wickets in Qualifier 1 in Dubai (BPCL/IPL)
Gaikwad becomes only player to score 600+ runs in a season. (BCCI/IPL)

Chennai lose early wicket of Faf du Plessis but Uthappa counterattacks

The most successful opening pair of this edition of IPL, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis started the chase of a huge target of 173 in a final.

However, Delhi new ball bowler Anrich Nortje penetrated the defences of du Plessis to shatter his stumps with a Jaffa in the first over of the innings.

Veteran IPL player Robin Uthappa and Ruturaj stitched a vital partnership after the wicket of Plessis. Uthappa dealt in boundaries against Kagiso Rabada and Axar Patel. Uthappa smoked two fours and two elegant sixes in one over of Avesh Khan. His trademark strokes straight over the bowler were a feast for the eyes of cricket fans.

As this partnership was looking troublesome for Delhi, their skipper Pant beought Tom Curran and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin into the attack. Tom Curran dried up boundaries but Uthappa completed his fifty in just 35 balls by taking a double off a delivery of Curran. After settling in the middle, his partner Ruturaj pounced on the left-arm spin bowling of Axar to strike two back-to-back boundaries. Also, Uthappa smacked two boundaries off Ashwin in the 13th over.

Chennai stumble in middle overs

Uthappa struck his trademark shot off Curran towards long on, which was close to sailing over the boundary, but Shreyas Iyer took a blinder to send the veteran player back to the pavilion.

In the meanwhile, Ruturaj reached his fifty in just 37 balls. Chennai sent Shardul Thakur as a pinch hitter at number four, however, he got out on a golden duck off a slower delivery of Tom Curran, as Iyer took another catch at long off.

Next batter Ambati Rayudu got run-out due to a sharp throw of Iyer. As Chennai lost three back-to-back wickets, Delhi looked all set to book their slot in the IPL final. English allrounder Moeen Ali was sent to assist Ruturaj in the middle.

Dhoni finishes in style to book slot in IPL final for his side

Ruturaj continued to found occasional boundaries, also he smacked two fours off Nortje in the 18th over. He got out in the next over on 70 while hitting a low full toss bowled by Avesh Khan, which was caught by Axar at deep mid-wicket.

With only 24 runs required in the last 11 balls, Dhoni walked out into the middle. He smashed one huge six over deep mid-wicket to a short ball bowled by Avesh Khan. Even if Moeen departed on the first ball of the final over the match, Dhoni hammered three successive boundaries off Tom Curran to help his team storm into the IPL final.

What is Next for Delhi Capitals?

As Chennai Super Kings vanquished Delhi Capitals to book their spot in the IPL final, Delhi Capitals have to win against the winner of Eliminator game in the second qualifier (RCB vs KKR) to book a slot in IPL final, to play against Chennai again.

Top Twitter Reactions as CSK beat Delhi Capitals

MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings enter Indian Premier League 2021 final after beating Delhi Capitals by four wickets in Qualifier 1 in Dubai. MS Dhoni pulls off 12 runs from last over of Tom Curran. A lot of Cricket Fans and former players appreciating MS Dhoni's valiant efforts via Twitter. Here are some of the best Twitter Reactions from CSKvsDC:


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