- Robin Uthappa (63), Ruturaj Gaikwad (70), & MS Dhoni (18*) contributed crucial runs help CSK win in the 173-run chase.
- Dhoni struck the winning runs and finished with a strike rate of 300.
- DC is still in the running and will face either KKR or RCB in the second qualifier on Wednesday.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) qualified for their ninth IPL final with MS Dhoni’s late blitz of 18* off 6 and half-centuries from Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa. Though Robin Uthappa (63 off 44) & Rituraj Gaikwad (70 off 50) did the most of the work to bring CSK on the brink of victory, it was Dhoni’s cameo that sealed the deal as the asking rate jumped to 12 in the final two overs.
Continuing the trend of batting before Ravindra Jadeja, Dhoni stepped in after Gaikwad was dismissed on the first ball of the 19th over. Dhoni easily cleared the fence with the second ball he faced.
After losing Moeen Ali’s wicket on the first ball of the 20th over, the burden fell on Dhoni to score 13 runs off 5 deliveries. To complete the chase, the CSK captain only dealt in boundaries, hitting Tom Curran for three back-to-back fours.
Gaikwad and Uthappa contributed to the chase, adding 110 runs for the second wicket after the Yellow Army lost Faf du Plessis in the first over. Their teamwork pulled CSK back into the game, but their efforts would have been in vain if Dhoni had not done the job.
Earlier in the game, Prithvi Shaw went on an attacking spree, giving Delhi a strong start. In just 3.2 overs, he and Shikhar Dhawan scored 36 runs for the first wicket. The senior batsman contributed just seven runs before being dismissed by Dhoni off Josh Hazlewood.
Shreyas Iyer continued his poor form, managing only 1 out of 8 balls. Surprisingly, team management assigned Axar Patel to partner Shaw. The transfer did not go well, as the all-rounder only managed 10 out of 11.
While DC was losing wickets at regular intervals, Shaw continued to score runs and reached his half-century in just 27 deliveries. The right-handed batsman was caught by Plessis after being bowled for 60 by Ravindra Jadeja.
The constant wicket-taking had an effect on DC’s run-rate, but it thrived at the finish. Rishabh Pant led the charge, staying unbeaten on 51 from 35 deliveries. Shimron Hetmyer, who batted at number 6, helped him out by scoring 37 runs off 24 balls.
Shardul Thakur had a rare disappointing day with the ball for CSK, allowing 36 runs off three overs while failing to capture a wicket. CSK has qualified for their ninth IPL final, where they will meet the winner of the second qualifier on October 15. DC is still in the race and will face either the Kolkata Knight Riders or the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the second qualifier on Wednesday (October 13).