CSK vs DC: Chennai Super Kings clinch 100th IPL win to enter final
Chennai Super Kings defeated Delhi Capitals by six wickets in Qualifier 2 in Visakhapatnam on Friday.Updated: May 11, 2019 08:12 IST
Just over a week back, after his team went out of contention, Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling coach Ashish Nehra praised Chennai Super Kings’ ability to keep a leash on opposition batsmen, especially in the powerplay and death overs, despite lacking big names in their pace attack. ((Full Scorecard))
There was a chance of Friday’s Qualifier 2 turning into an aberration. CSK skipper MS Dhoni picked Shardul Thakur ahead of Murali Vijay for an extra bowling option but the bowler leaked runs in the second over as Delhi Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan picked three successive boundaries.
But as he has done so often in the past, Dhoni wrested back control, applying brakes on the scoring by removing Thakur and bringing on Harbhajan Singh, who bowled two tight powerplay overs and got rid of Dhawan.
With Deepak Chahar, who will assist India at the nets in World Cup, giving little away from the other end and trapping Prithvi Shaw leg-before off a failed attempt to pull, the powerplay phase Delhi were banking on fetched just 41 runs while costing two key wickets.
It was far from the 55/0 they racked up against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator in Visakhapatnam , which prompted Shaw to term it as the key stage of the game.
Capitals were restricted to 147/9 and CSK coasted to 151/4 in 19 overs, sealing the final against Mumbai Indians in Hyderabad on Sunday.
CSK had half the job done with the experienced Harbhajan, Imran Tahir and Dwayne Bravo to bowl 10 of the remaining 14 overs. Only Rishabh Pant’s gritty 25-ball 38 and lusty hitting at the back-end by Ishant Sharma gave Delhi some momentum. Chasing the modest total required less of the improvised shots and more of classical batting, which came all too easy to Chennai’s experienced openers.
Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson, both well over 30 and under fire for not being consistent this season, took their time and stole singles before opening their shoulders as Capitals’ shoulders drooped.
The pair could get just 16 in the first four overs but turned it on after that with Du Plessis, who has scored in two of the last three games, starting with a six and four off Axar Patel and cracking three fours off Ishant Sharma in the next over to bring Chennai’s powerplay score (42/0) on a par with Delhi’s.
With Watson joining in, the two began picking at least a boundary an over, taking Chennai to 81 in 10 overs. That set the tone and though Du Plessis was dismissed after completing a 37-ball 50, Chennai were on their way.
Whatever hope Delhi had of a fightback after Du Plessis’s wicket went up the chimney in the next over, the innings’ 12th , with Chennai taking 25 off Keemo Paul, 23 of them by Watson. By the time Watson (50 off 32) was out, CSK needed just 39 runs off 46 balls. Dhoni, cheered on by the capacity crowd dressed mostly in yellow, took them home.
Starved for runs
Earlier, Delhi were forced into a trudge because of their inability to get the big shots. There were only a few attempts to sneak singles or doubles and with the likes of Tahir, Bhajji and Bravo hardly giving any opportunity for big shots, the scoring dropped in the middle overs.
After the loss of openers, Colin Munro holed out to deep square leg and skipper Shreyas Iyer followed him, trying to hit Tahir over midwicket but lobbing a catch to point.
With wickets falling regularly at the other end – Axar Patel, Sherfane Rutherford and Paul – Pant had to wage a lone battle. He started with urgency in the company of Iyer, sweeping for a double and then improvising a sweep against Tahir to take four. But as others kept returning to the dugout, he began playing cautiously, hoping to bat out the overs and help set a decent total.
Boundaries dried up and there was a phase between the 11th and 16th overs when Capitals couldn’t hit even one past the ropes. It was only in the last two overs that things moved, but by then it was too little to bring pressure on Chennai.