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IPL 2021, DC vs CSK Qualifier 1: Ruturaj Gaikwad dips class, Robin Uthappa and MS Dhoni turn back the clock to take Chennai Super Kings to the 9th final


MS Dhoni scored the winning runs when Chennai beat Super Kings Delhi Capitals by 4 wickets.© IPL

Ultimately, it was about experience and knowing what it takes to win a big game. Mahendra Singh Dhoni did what many thought he could not do anymore, who would come in to pull a few to the border and take his team home. Chennai Super Kings enter IPL 2021 final, their 9th in the history of the league, as they unleashed the capitals of Delhi with 4 wickets. Dhoni hit three boundaries and a six in his unbeaten run of 6 balls from 18 runs to help his team reach the goal of 173 runs, with 3 balls to spare, while reminding Avesh Khan and Tom Curran that they can not bowl long balls for him, even if he is 40 years old. Dhoni’s late heroic deeds were the icing on the cake after his former Indian teammate Robin Uthappa and the ever-improving Ruturaj Gaikwad paved the way for a tribune.

Uthappa and Gaikwad come together in the very first over from the high pressure chase after Anrich Nortje removed the in-form Faf Du Plessis for 1.. Both batsmen cautiously threw for the wind when they attacked Delhi’s bowlers from the word. Gaikwad was of the best class, while Uthappa reminded the Indian cricket fans that he still had the flair and power of yesteryear. While Ruturaj has excelled this season, Uthappa has not had too many opportunities to bat long in the middle for his new franchise. But he repaid the confidence shown by the team management in him in time.

Uthappa demanded the young Avesh Khan a lot in the match and completed his half century in only 35 deliveries to keep CSK up to date with the demand rate. With 62 runs to win in 7 overs, CSK looked like they were home and dry, but Uthappa’s dismissal for 63 caused a small collapse as snipers Shardul Thakur and Ambati Rayudu were quickly sacked in succession.

However, Ruturaj continued his quest and raised his half-century in the company of Moeen Ali, who received some hilarious blows to keep the required rate in check. Avesh Khan fired Ruturaj for 70 in the first ball of the 19th over as CSK now need 24 runs from 11 deliveries. Many thought in-form Ravindra Jadeja could walk out, but captain MS Dhoni has decided to take responsibility despite his poor form with the bat this season.

While Moeen Ali got a boundary and a single away, it was Dhoni’s six after the penultimate delivery of the over that swayed the game of CSK as they needed 13 runs to win the last over. Tom Curran got the ball for the last over in place of the experienced Kagiso Rabada, and the Englishman removed Ali to keep Delhi in the hunt. But what followed was vintage Dhoni when he reached back-to-back limits to reduce the comparison to 5 runs from 3 deliveries.

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A nervous Curran then throws a wide turn and Dhoni hits the next delivery to the boundary again to complete the task.

Delhi Capitals earlier scored 172 runs in their 20 overs on the back of a solid start of the innings by opening batsman Prithvi Shaw. The minor batsman scored 60 runs from 34 deliveries to get the team going despite Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer coming out of the fight cheap. Captain Rishabh Pant (51 of 35) and Shimron Hetmyer (37 of 24) delivered the big hits in the overs to take the team to a formidable total, but in the end it was not enough.

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