DubaiIt is said that who can avoid Dhoni and Honi… Something similar was seen in the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. On the crucial occasion, Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit the ground and hit 3 fours and a six in 6 balls to give Chennai Super Kings a 4-wicket victory against Delhi Capitals in the final. This is the 9th time that CSK has reached the final. She is 3 times champion, while 5 times runner up. In the first qualifier, Delhi Capitals scored 172 for 5, thanks to half-centuries from opener Prithvi Shaw (60 runs) and captain Rishabh Pant (51 not out). In reply, Chennai scored 173 runs in 19.4 overs for the loss of 6 wickets. Dhoni (18 not out) hit the winning boundary off Tom Karan. Openers Rituraj Gaikwad (70 runs) and Robin Uthappa (63 runs) were the heroes of Chennai’s victory. The base was prepared by the fifties of these two, taking advantage of which Moeen Ali and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni played a cameo innings to give victory to Chennai. She will now play the final at the same ground on October 15 with the winner of the Eliminator between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata and the winner of the second qualifier between Delhi Capitals. Earlier, thanks to half-centuries from opener Prithvi Shaw (60 runs) and captain Rishabh Pant (51 not out), Delhi Capitals managed to score 172 for 5 wickets. IPL veteran Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were in-form Gaikwad (50 balls, five fours and two sixes) and Uthappa (63 runs, seven fours, two sixes in 44 balls) took 110 runs in 77 balls for the second wicket. Got off to a good start by sharing. But in the end, captain Dhoni again playing his ‘finisher’ role, scoring an unbeaten 18 off six balls with three fours and a six, helped him win by four wickets in two balls. Taking lessons from the previous match, Delhi Capitals fielded brilliantly in this match. But Dhoni’s experience weighed heavily on the young Pant. However, Delhi gave CSK the first blow in the very first over in the form of Faf du Plessis, who was bowled by Anrich Norkia (1 for 31 runs). But after that Gaikwad and Uthappa were easily leading the team towards the target. CSK added 20 runs in the sixth over with two sixes and two sixes on Avesh Khan to take the score to 59 for one in six overs. Uthappa reached his 25th fifty in IPL off 35 balls with five fours and two sixes as CSK were reduced to 81 for one by the end of the 10th over. Tom Curran (3/29 in 3.4 overs) took two wickets for CSK in the 14th over. First he ended the second wicket century partnership by dismissing Uthappa. Gaikwad added three runs in the next two balls to complete his half-century. Shreyas Iyer took a brilliant catch of the boundary line Uthappa and on the last ball of the same over he dismissed Shardul Thakur (zero) who came up the batting order and this catch was also taken by Iyer. Ambati Rayudu was run out in the next over by Iyer and Kagiso Rabada to reduce CSK to 119 for four. Gaikwad and Moeen Ali (16 runs) again took the pressure off CSK with a few shots. Due to which CSK needed 24 runs to win in the last two overs. Avesh Khan caught Gaikwad off a full toss ball, Axar Patel took a brilliant catch. Now CSK captain Dhoni was at the crease. In the 19th over, 11 runs from Dhoni’s six and Moeen Ali’s four were added. Now 13 runs were needed in six balls. Tom Curran dismissed Moeen Ali (two fours in 12 balls) on the first ball of the last over. Dhoni hit fours on the second and third balls. Next ball wide, then Dhoni’s four and CSK in the final. Earlier, except for Shaw (34 balls, seven fours, three sixes), Delhi Capitals’ top-order batsmen were dismissed early after playing poor shots, but Pant (35 balls, three fours and two sixes) and Shimron Hetmyer (37 in 24 balls) were dismissed. Runs, three fours, one six) played an important role in taking the team to this score by sharing 83 runs in 50 balls for the fifth wicket. For CSK, Josh Hazlewood gave Delhi the opening two wickets in the powerplay for 29 while all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja took the crucial wicket of Sau. Moeen Ali took one wicket for 27 runs. Dwayne Bravo took one wicket for 31 runs in three overs. Shaw hit the first six of the innings off Hazlewood in the last ball of the second over. In the next over, Shaw hit four fours off Deepak Chahar (26 runs in three overs) and got the team off to a good start with 17 runs. Dhawan (07) also opened his hand and hit a four off the first ball of the fourth over, but Hazlewood’s next ball touching the edge of his bat went straight into the hands of wicketkeeper Dhoni. Shreyas Iyer came to the crease as no run was added in the next four balls. Shaw welcomed Shardul Thakur (36 runs in three overs) for a six at deep mid-wicket. Sau was lucky that the next slow ball had touched Dhoni’s gloves after touching his bat and he narrowly escaped. Iyer had added only one run from eight balls that Rituraj Gaikwad was caught in an attempt to play a big shot at Hazlewood, as the team scored 52 for two in the powerplay. Delhi surprised Akshar Patel by sending him to bat at number four. Shaw hit a boundary off Jadeja, hitting six fours and three sixes in his 27-ball fifty, which was also the first fifty for Delhi Capitals in the UAE leg. Dhoni’s decision to put Moeen Ali on the bowling proved beneficial, who thwarted Axar Patel’s big shot and showed him the way to the pavilion. Delhi Capitals had scored 79 runs in 10 overs for the loss of three wickets. But in the next over, the team lost the crucial wicket of Shaw. Jadeja dealt the biggest blow to Delhi Capitals, whose attempt to hit the ball ended Shaw’s innings and it was caught by Faf du Plessis at long off. The Delhi team was under pressure, due to which the responsibility was now on the shoulders of Pant and Hetmyer. Both were playing cautiously, after the dismissal of Shaw, the first boundary was hit after 28 balls. In the fourth over of Moeen Ali, Hetmyer hit a six over deep midwicket with a pull shot. Opening his hand, Hetmyer got another four on short third man in Bravo’s first over. At the other end, Pant, playing restraint, hit the first six of his innings off Thakur in the 16th over. Both of them played a great partnership and led the team to a respectable score. But in the 19th over, Caribbean all-rounder Bravo ended compatriot Hetmyer’s 37-run knock. Pant completed his half-century with two runs in the last ball.
[Attribution to NBT]