Dubai: MS Dhoni got into his own groove as his late flourish helped Chennai Super Kings enter the final of the Indian Premier League(IPL) this season beating a Delhi Capitals by 4 wickets. Chasing 173, CSK needed 24 off 11 when their skipper came to the crease. He hit a huge six off Avesh Khan in the same over to close the deficit. Chennai needed 13 off the penultimate over and their mercurial skipper did it smashing Tom Curran a trio of boundaries sealing a place in the place for the side’s 9th final of this tournament.
However, it was the youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad(70) and the veteran Robin Uthappa(63) to set the up base for chase. After losing Faf du Plessis cheaply in a such a crucial game, the duo added a match winning 110 run stand for the second wicket although it was the veteran Uthappa who was more of the aggressor taking the game away from Delhi especially in the powerplay overs.
Tom Curran(3/29) topper the charts while Anrich Nortje(1/31) gave him good support. Youngster Avesh Khan(1/47) despite going expensive at the death bowled a rather good spell in the first phase helping Delhi tightening things up. Shardul Thakur who was sent as a pinch hitter was unable to impress while Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu too got dismissed cheaply. However, it was the “captain cool” of the three time title winner who got them over the finishing line.
Earlier, Delhi took off like a flyer as Prithvi Shaw smashed a 34 ball 60. Despite losing opener Shikhar Dhawan early. Prithvi was taking the game away from the Chennai side until Ravindra Jadeja put his innings to an end in the 11th over when Delhi were already up to 80. Before from the departure of the youngster, CSK picked up couple of wickets making a comeback.
Josh Hazzlewood(2/29) was the pick of the bowlers while Jadeja(1/23) bowled a tight spell. Skipper Rishabh Pant(51*) and Shimron Hetmyer(37) joined hands in the rebuilding process stitching a vital 73 run stand to send Delhi to 173/4 with Pant remaining unbeaten till the end cracking up a superb half-century in difficult situation.
However, the skippers efforts with bat would have praised had he not made a controversial decision to hand Kagiso Rabada, his premier bowler for the penultimate over instead of Tom Curran considering the former’s prowess at the death over. Delhi though will get another chance when they meet either Royal Challengers Bangalore or Kolkata Knight Riders after Monday’s eliminator in Sharjah.
Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 173/6 in 19.4 overs(Ruturaj Gaikwad 70, Robin Uthappa 63; Tom Curran 3/29, Anrich Nortje 1/31) beat Delhi Capitals 172/5 in 20 overs(Prithvi Shaw 60, Risabh Pant 51*, Josh Hazzlewood 2/29) by 4 wickets.