IPL 2021: Qualifier 1, DC vs CSK – Who Said What

IPL 2021: Qualifier 1, DC vs CSK – Who Said What

The Capitals will face the winner of the Eliminator – either RCB or KKR – on October 12.

MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja
MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

He is still finishing games. He still is. The powers might have waned but the old lion MS Dhoni did it for the umpteenth time as Chennai Super Kings clinched the first qualifier against Delhi Capitals by four wickets to gain a straight entry into the 2021 IPL final, their ninth in 12 editions.

The Delhi Capitals managed to post a challenging total of 172/5 on the back of the half-centuries from Prithvi Shaw (60 off 34) and Rishabh Pant (51 off 35) but Ruturaj Gaikwad (70 off 50) and Robin Uthappa (63 off 44) trumped those efforts before an MS Dhoni cameo took the CSK across the winning line.

The victory, however, was not as simple for the Super Kings, who were cruising in the chase at one stage courtesy of the sensational 110-run stand off just 77 between Gaikwad and Uthappa for the second wicket after the early loss of Faf du Plessis. However, things took a dramatic turn as they went down from 113/1 to 119/4 thanks to Tom Curran and Shreyas Iyer’s brilliance.

Iyer took two sensational catches off Curran’s bowling to send back Uthappa, who smashed seven fours and two sixes in his impressive knock, and Shardul Thakur – promoted at No. 4 – before his magnificent throw led to Ambati Rayudu’s run-out.

Gaikwad, who stood tall from the other end, smashing five fours and a couple of sixes as he notched up 600 runs in the season, was involved in a brief stand with Moeen Ali, who played a crucial knock of 16 off 12 but it was down to 13 needed off the final over. Despite being the best bowler on the day by his skipper Pant’s admission, Curran (3/29) could not restrict Dhoni, who, like he did all life, finished things off with a couple of balls to spare. His 6-ball 18 had three fours and a six.

Earlier, after opting to bat, DC got to a flying start, with Shaw taking the attack to the CSK bowlers, dominating the 36-run opening stand with Shikhar Dhawan, who was sent back for a run-ball 7 after edging Josh Hazlewood behind. Hazelwood then struck inside the powerplay again to get Iyer for 1 off 8 to push DC on the backfoot before a 50-ball 83-run stand between Shimron Hetmyer and Rishabh Pant rescued them to a competitive total. In between, Jadeja cut short Shaw’s free-flowing knock that had three sixes and seven fours.

The Capitals will face the winner of the Eliminator – either RCB or KKR – on October 12.

Losing skipper Rishabh Pant:

Obviously it’s very disappointing, don’t have enough words to describe how we are feeling right now. The only thing we can do is rectify our mistakes and move on to the next one. I thought that Tom bowled beautifully throughout the match, last over unfortunately went for runs. I thought the bowler who is having a great day, it’s better to use him for the last over. I thought the score was decent but they got off to a flier in the powerplay and we didn’t get enough wickets and that was the main difference. As a cricketer, we are going to rectify our mistakes, gonna learn from it and move on to the next one. Hopefully we can win and play the final.

Winning skipper MS Dhoni:

It was a crucial innings. They were using the bigger boundary very well. I haven’t done a lot in the tournament. We are one side that hasn’t done promotions a lot. If a Shardul or a Deepak, they can look to get a boundary from the first ball. He is somebody who likes to bat up the order. Mo has done very well for us at 3. So we have left it open. Whoever gets out, one of you will bat at 3. We have just left it to god how we decide that (smiles). He (Ruturaj) is somebody who plays authentic shots. He is a good talent. It’s the full team. It was tough when we didn’t qualify last time. Emotions were high. Credit goes to the support staff and everyone in the team.

Player of the Match Ruturaj Gaikwad:

It’s just normal. Just go through normal routines that I have been following throughout the tournament. Powerplay was a crucial stage and the wicket was holding a little bit. It was easier to bat through with Robin going well. I plan for 2-3 overs, think of who is likely to bowl and who I can target, big-short boundary, who I can target and ensure the required rate doesn’t go up too much. Every time Dhoni tries to encourage me and start afresh every game. Learn from every game and move forward. I am just looking to learn as much as possible till he is here.