Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - CSK pip DC in last-over thriller to storm into IPL 2021 final. With 13 needed in the last over, Dhoni took CSK to the final with two balls to spare with a 6-ball 18.
With 13 needed in the last over, Dhoni took CSK to the final with two balls to spare with a 6-ball 18.
Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals played out one of the finest contests of the UAE leg, with a last-over finish taking the former to their ninth IPL final. Prithvi Shaw, Shimron Hetmyer and Rishabh Pant's batting efforts took DC to 172, but was countered well by Ruturaj Gaikwad and a rejuvenated Robin Uthappa – before the fixture came down to the final over. In familiar territory, MS Dhoni took over and got the 13 required runs off Tom Curran to leave DC with another late defeat.
The last over first…
Tom Curran came into the XI for the first time in the UAE leg, but with the baggage of having an IPL economy rate in excess of 11. He did his reputation a world of good with three top-class overs through the game, conceding just 16 and picking two wickets. Rishabh Pant took the big call of throwing the ball to the Englishman ahead of Kagiso Rabada with 13 to defend – a show of faith for the spell until then.
Curran began well as Moeen middled the slower ball but couldn't clear Rabada at deep square leg. But given the frequency with which Curran was using change of pace, Dhoni – who'd crossed over – waited deep in his crease and slapped the second through extra cover for four. The CSK captain got lucky off the next ball with an inside edge for a four through fine leg, before pulling the fourth ball – another slower one – to the vacant mid-wicket fence to wrap up the win.
Let's start from the top. DC got 172/5, how was CSK's start?
Shaky, thanks to a brute of a ball from Anrich Nortje that disturbed Faf du Plessis's stumps in the first over.
Then how did they still get 59/1 in the PP – the joint-highest against DC?
Because a vintage Robin Uthappa turned up at No. 3. He'd been circumspect in his first outing this season, and lasted just six balls in his second, but walked in today with a new-found resolve. He leaned in to a Nortje full ball at 149 kmphs and drove it through covers to get going. The rekindling of his former self continued with cheeky dabs down to third man and hits through and over midwicket. Of the 59 that CSK got in the PowerPlay, Uthappa smashed 40 off 24 while Ruturaj ambled along at 16 off 10.
The simmering middle-phase
DC tried to regain control by using the uneven boundary dimensions and maneuvering their slower bowling options. Axar Patel, Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin and Rabada dried up the boundaries, but Ruturaj and Uthappa ensured they didn't get bogged down by dot-ball pressure and kept getting 5-7 runs each over to retain equilibrium in chase heading towards the death.
How did it turn for the worse from there then?
Pant berated his side for their poor fielding after the last-ball six that led to a defeat against RCB, but it was the fielding – particularly from Shreyas Iyer – that threatened to push CSK into the corner. Iyer's two catches – one a spectacular effort right at the boundary line – first ended Uthappa's fine innings on 63, and then sent back Shardul Thakur for a first-ball duck. Ambati Rayudu then walked back in just the following over, again courtesy a sharp pick-up and throw on the run from Iyer, which Rabada collected well off an awkward bounce and broke the stumps quickly. CSK went from 111/1 in 13 overs to 121/4 in 15, now needing 52 off the last five overs, pushing DC closer to that final spot.
52 off 30 became 35 off 18. What happened next?
Ruturaj turned the chase back on its head with two fours off DC's best bowler of the season – Nortje – to add pressure on the rest who were to follow. The 11-run over narrowed the deficit and brought up Avesh for his final over. The pressure of having lost a death-overs battle just days ago notwithstanding, he had Ruturaj caught at cow corner to bring about another twist. But a hit-me short ball to Dhoni on the fifth ball perhaps changed the complexion of the game for good, when the CSK skipper tonked it for a six over deep square leg. He carried that confidence into the final over where Curran came up second best against him.
Now about the first half, what happened in the Shaw-v-Chahar duel?
Six dismissals in eight previous outings made this duel overwhelmingly one-sided in favour of CSK's PowerPlay specialist, but Shaw turned the tables to an extent. He saw off the three balls he faced in the first over before hitting four fours off the five balls he faced in the second. The first boundary came off a streaky inside edge but the diminutive DC opener then punished the width outside the off stump on either side of point and flicked a straighter one behind square. Shaw picked 18 off the 8 balls he faced from his constant nemesis and used that as a springboard to score what was the first individual half-century by a Delhi Capitals player in the UAE leg of this season.
Axar at 4 and the middle-muddle
The Capitals sacrificed the all-round option of Ripal Patel to fit in an extra bowler in Tom Curran, leaving their batting a little light. Which is why when Josh Hazlewood's accuracy with back-of-a-length bowling accounted for Shikhar Dhawan and Iyer, the left-hander to walk out to bat was Axar Patel.
Axar could still have been a handful against a favourable match-up in Ravindra Jadeja, but had to also deal with Moeen Ali spinning the ball away from him. Eventually, it took an ordinary, short ball to end the experiment as Axar smashed it straight to Mitchell Santner at long on. Shaw's exit right after the halfway stage while trying to go with inside-out loft off Jadeja suddenly put DC under the pump.
The Pant & Hetmyer show in the death
Capitals dragged their feet with 35 runs in 28 deliveries since Pant and Shimron Hetmyer came together at the crease, but the turnaround came just when they needed it. Pant, who regularly looked like losing his shape while trying to play big heaves, got an awkward one-handed six off a slower one from Shardul Thakur, whacking it over the midwicket. Thakur's attempt to bowl outside the off stump – and stay away from Hetmyer and Pant's hitting arc – resulted in a couple of wides in his 14-run over.
Dhoni's trusted death-overs lieutenant, Dwayne Bravo also erred with that once and was picked out for a four each by Pant and Hetmyer in a 13-run over. Bravo went for 11 more in his third, and Hazlewood's figures (2 for 17 in 3 overs) were sullied by a 12-run final over. DC finished with 172/5 in 20 overs., which proved just about insufficient on the night.
Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals 172/5 in 20 overs (Prithvi Shaw 60, Rishabh Pant 51*, Shimron Hetmyer 37; Josh Hazlewood 2-29) beat Chennai Super Kings173/6 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 70, Robin Uthappa 63; Tom Curran 3-29)by 4 wickets.
What's next for the teams?
CSK can rest on their laurels – and probably in ice baths – as they have four days between now and the summit clash. DC meanwhile, have to quickly rebound from the dejection of another last-over loss and be ready for either KKR or RCB in the second Qualifier on October 13.