Delhi Capitals team was confident that they could make it three in a row after winning their two round-robin league matches against Chennai Super Kings. However, Chennai captain MS Dhoni displayed his flamboyant charisma at the most crunch moment of the game, leading his team to victory with two balls to spare. Chennai advanced to the 14th edition of the tournament final after defeating Delhi in the IPL 2021 qualifier 1 match. Delhi Capitals will play the winner of the eliminator match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore in qualifier 2 for a final berth.
Match Report: CSK vs. DC
The captain of Chennai Super Kings MS Dhoni opted to field first against Delhi Capitals in the first qualifying match in Dubai on Sunday (October 10)
Delhi Capitals batted first and set up a challenging 172/5 runs in their allocated 20 overs. Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan partnered for a 36-run opening stand, with Prithvi taking the initiative to get the scoreboard moving quickly. Shikhar Dhawan was struggling to time the ball and was finally bowled by Josh Hazlewood in the fourth over.
Getting the first wicket helped Chennai to increase the pressure on the Delhi batsmen. They lost three more wickets within 11 overs, including Prithvi Shaw. The excellent left-hand batsman lost his wicket to Ravindra Jadeja after an aggressive 60 off 34 balls.
Delhi skipper Rishab Pant and Windies power hitter Shimron Hetmyer (37) repaired the innings with an 83-run partnership in the fifth wicket and took the total to 163. Rishab Pant remained undefeated with a 51* off 35 balls. Josh Hazlewood was Chennai's most successful bowler, taking two wickets for 29 runs in four overs.
Chasing 173 runs, Chennai's most inform batsman Faf du Plessis was dismissed in the opening over. He was clean bowled by compatriot Anrich Nortje on the fourth ball of the first over. However, the loss of an early wicket had little effect on Chennai's momentum in the run chase.
A 110-run second-wicket partnership between Ruturaj Gaikwad and the experienced Robin Uthappa helped Chennai stay in the game. They took the total to 113 in the 14th over. Both batsmen were steady and did not take any needless risks while forming the partnership.
Uthappa was dismissed in the14th over after a 63-run knock. On the other hand, Gaikwad remained at the crease till the 19th over, ensuring Chennai's progress in the run chase. However, the match took a dramatic turn when in-form Avesh Khan sent Gaikwad back to the pavilion on the first ball of the 19th over.Chennai needed 24 runs in 11 balls at that point. With two new batsmen at the crease, they were under a lot of pressure to get those runs. However, skipper MS Dhoni came out as a savior for his team and ensured victory with some blistering strokes.
Dhoni sealed the victory by smashing Tom Curran for a boundary in the last over's fourth ball. He stayed unbeaten, with a match-winning 18 off 6 balls knock. Taking three wickets, Curran was Delhi's most successful bowler in this game.
Player of the Match
Chennai Super Kings opener Ruturaj Gaikwad was awarded the best player of the IPL 2021 qualifier 1 match for his responsible 70-run knock.
Delhi Capitals lost to Chennai Super Kings for the first time of the IPL 2021 season. They overcame Chennai twice in the league phase and were considered favorites to win the IPL 2021 qualifier 1 match. However, responsible knocks by Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa, as well as MS Dhoni's fiery innings, saw Chennai defeat Delhi in the first match of the playoffs round. This will be the 9th IPL final for Chennai Super Kings.
On the other hand, Delhi Capitals must win the second qualifier match to advance to the IPL final for the second year in a row. Delhi finished runner-up after losing the IPL 2020 final to Mumbai Indians. The qualifier 2 match will take place in Sharjah on Wednesday (13th October).