Indian Premier League, 2021
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Date & Time: 10 October 2021
RR: 8.8 | Chennai Super Kings beat Delhi Capitals by 4 wickets
Right then, Chennai have booked their place in the final but Delhi are not out yet. They will unlock the benefits of finishing in the top two and will get a second bite at the cherry in Qualifier 2. But before that, we have the Eliminator coming up on Monday between Bangalore and Kolkata. The action will begin at 6 pm local (2 pm GMT) but you can join us in advance for the build-up. Cheers!
Man of the Match is Ruturaj Gaikwad! He says that they have to go through just normal routines. Mentions that every game is a new challenge and one has to start fresh every time. Informs that the Powerplay was a crucial stage and the wicket was holding up a bit. Tells that it was very easy to bat with Robin Uthappa. Adds that Dhoni encourages him a lot and he is looking to learn as much as possible from him.
MS Dhoni, the captain of Chennai, starts by talking about his own innings. Says that it was a crucial knock, he felt it would be tough and wanted the batsmen to bat deep. Adds that as far as his knock is concerned, it was all about 'Watch the ball, hit the ball'. MS admits that he has not done enough this season so it was good to get that out of the system. On the move to promote Shardul Thakur, Dhoni replies that they are one side that hasn't done that often. Says that they even have Chahar who can also contribute with the bat. Dhoni further tells that a proper batsman will think twice before hitting the big shots and batters like Thakur or Chahar can give you 1-2 boundaries and that helps the cause. Regarding Robin Uthappa, Dhoni says that he likes to bat top of the order and Moeen has also done well there, so they left it to God who will bat there in this match. On Gaikwad, MS replies that the chat with him is simple. Tells that he has improved and he is someone who wants to bat 20 overs. Mentions that he is very eager to learn and somebody who plays authentic shots. Shares that it was tough to bounce back from the last season, the emotions were very high and those last 3-4 games in 2020, they wanted to do well. Feels that's the reason they have come back strongly and Dhoni thanks the support staff also.
Robin Uthappa comes up for a chat. Says that he is feeling very grateful and is happy to contribute. Informs that it's his son's fourth birthday and this knock is for him. Mentions that they knew they needed a good start and he just played on merit. Informs that there is nothing to worry about his injury, probably it's just a niggle and should be fine by the final. Tells that he just tries to focus on his routines and is very grateful that he could contribute tonight. Adds that this franchise is the most secure group and after his time under Gambhir at Kolkata, this is the most comfortable he has felt mentally.
Rishabh Pant, the captain of Delhi, says that it's very disappointing and it's hard to describe how they are feeling and all they can do is rectify their mistakes. Adds that the bowlers were bowling well throughout, especially Tom Curran, and that is why he was given the responsibility in the final over. Mentions that the score on the board was decent but the Chennai batters got off to a flier and that made the difference. Adds that they will learn from their mistakes and hopefully go on to win the next match and play in the final.
Earlier in the match, it was a strong batting show by Delhi to put 172 on the board. Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant stroked fifties while the partnership between Pant and Shimron Hetmyer injected the momentum into Delhi's innings. It was a good finish from Delhi but they didn't get the desired result in the final over. Maybe, that cost them in the end. Stay tuned for the presentation...
A couple of wickets fell in the 14th over which included the wicket of Robin Uthappa and that made the chase very interesting. A few wickets tumbled more, giving a sniff to Delhi and they started to claw their way back into the game. The departure of another set batsman in Ruturaj Gaikwad threw the game wide open but MS Dhoni promoted himself ahead of Ravindra Jadeja and took the chase by the scruff of its neck. 'Thala' as he is fondly called settled all the nerves in the camp with his calm presence and took Chennai home.
What a sensational chase! A target of 173 against a well-oiled bowling unit of Delhi was never going to be easy. That became even tougher after losing the in-form Faf du Plessis cheaply. But this game was all about turning the clock back. Before Dhoni's cracking cameo, it was Robin Uthappa who set the stage on fire. Replacing Faf at the crease, he went berserk from the word go. Robin timed his shots beautifully and played some extraordinary shots. His presence allowed Ruturaj Gaikwad to settle down at the other end and together they put Chennai in a commanding position. Their 110-run alliance deflated Delhi's morale but credit to them for fighting till the end.
VINTAGE DHONI! Cometh the hour, cometh the Legend! 24 needed off 11 balls when MS arrived at the crease, Delhi were smelling blood after removing Ruturaj Gaikwad but Dhoni's whirlwind 6-ball 18 has taken Chennai into the final of the Indian T20 League 2021 - this is the ninth time they will be contesting for the coveted trophy.
4 needed from 3... what can we expect - a six over long on?
Ravindra Jadeja is the new man in. But it will be Dhoni on strike. 13 needed off 5 balls.
Tom Curran has been given the responsibility to bowl the final over.
MS Dhoni comes ahead of Ravindra Jadeja. Maybe, to maintain the left-right combination.
Who will bowl the penultimate over? It's going to be Avesh Khan (3-0-36-0).
Avesh Khan (2-0-27-0) is back into the attack.
Anrich Nortje (2-0-12-1) is back into the attack.
Moeen Ali is the new man in.
Is that a run out? The umpires have gone upstairs and the replay shows that Ambati Rayudu is well short. OUT is the signal.
Ambati Rayudu is the new man in. Kagiso Rabada (2-0-19-0) is brought back into the attack.
Shardul Thakur has been propelled up the order and comes in at number 4.
Is that caught cleanly? The third umpire is called in action and he is now checking if Shreyas Iyer touched the rope or go over it with the ball in hand. The replay confirms that it's all good and OUT is what we can see on the big screen.
Strategic Time-Out! So, the equation is 62 from the last 7 overs and looking at how Robin Uthappa and Ruturaj Gaikwad are playing, Chennai should be able to chase it down without much fuss. Delhi, on the other hand, desperately need wickets if they want to keep the game alive. Tom Curran (2-0-10-0) comes back into the attack.
Ravichandran Ashwin comes back on. He pulls out before delivering the ball at the end moment. Did that last time also and Ruturaj had responded by pulling back. Will he do that again?
Robin Uthappa is down on the ground. Seems to have hurt his hamstring while taking off for the third run on the second ball of this ongoing over. The physio is out, having a look. He is up on his feet now. We are set to resume.
Kagiso Rabada is brought back into the attack. He replaces Tom Curran.
Axar Patel (2-0-10-0) comes back into the attack.
Ravichandran Ashwin to operate now.
Strategic Time-Out! A much-needed one for Delhi indeed. The players will now be able to take a breather. Such was an entertaining Powerplay from Chennai. Robin Uthappa just took off and didn't look back. He has powered Chennai to a brisk start and they will look to continue the momentum. Delhi would hope to get an early breakthrough after the break and put brakes on Chennai's innings. Tom Curran to bowl now. He is wearing a black armband as today is the death anniversary of his father.
Avesh Khan (1-0-7-0) comes back into the attack.
Axar Patel comes into the attack now.
An early change in the bowling as Kagiso Rabada comes into the attack now.
Avesh Khan to steam in from the other end.
Robin Uthappa is called early into action. He is in at number 3.