- CSK, led by MS Dhoni, became the first team to qualify for the play-offs this season.
- Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis help CSK chase the target.
- Dhoni finishes off the match in style with a trademark six.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) becomes the first team to qualify a spot in the IPL 2021 playoffs after defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by six wickets on Thursday at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Chennai, chasing 136, survived a mini-collapse to achieve the mark with two balls to spare. As a result, Hyderabad is the first team to be eliminated from the competition.
From the start, Chennai had total control of the chase. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis blasted Bhuvneshwar Kumar for sixes in the fourth over after a slow start of 12 for no loss in three overs. Du Plessis then smashed Jason Holder on both sides of the ‘V’ in the next over.
Gaikwad went after Rashid Khan, top-edging a sweep over fine leg and then hitting a straight six down the track. He also had a lbw decision reversed, allowing the power play to continue at 47/0. With a straight loft over Siddarth Kaul’s head, Du Plessis reached the half-century mark in the opening partnership.
The 75-run partnership was ended at the midway point when Gaikwad lofted to mid-off off Holder, falling five runs short of his half-century. Moeen Ali kept the momentum going with boundary pulls off Holder and Khan. In the 15th over, Ali attempted to heave through the leg-side off Khan in an attempt to go big. Ali, on the other hand, inner-edged to the pads, and the ball slid to the stumps.
Holder took two wickets in the following over, first lbw-ing Suresh Raina and then top-edging a pull to short midwicket to du Plessis. Rayudu lofted Kaul over extra cover with 22 runs needed off 18 balls. Rayudu blasted Kumar for a six over long-on in the next over. Dhoni then crunched a four through cow corner to soothe the jitters in the Chennai squad.
Dhoni completed the chase with a massive six over deep midwicket off Kaul in the final over to secure his team’s playoff place.
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