In the DC VS CSK qualifier 1, a vintage MS Dhoni finished things off in style with MSD’s hattrick of 4s shutting critics for good. CSK’s victory was also backed by a sensational performance by Robin Uthappa who took fans of CSK and Indian cricket a trip down the memory lane. Looking and playing 10 years younger, Uthappa played a 63 run inning to help CSK chase a respectable total of 172 with grace.
“Dhoni finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd! India lifts the World Cup after 28 years!” a booming voice of Ravi Shastri is still in a corner of the brains of Indian cricket fans. It was after skipper Dhoni hit a six at the Wankhede stadium in 2011 to help his team get the World Cup.
However, after his retirement from international cricket, Dhoni’s lack of form was a subject of long debates. Throwing all such debates out of the window, the CSK on Sunday showed that a classic player never truly goes out of form.
The Facts of The Matter
In the first qualifier of the IPL 2021, Delhi Capitals batters got to the pitch first. The team got a decent start thanks to Prithvi Shaw’s heroics. Continuing his rich vein, Shaw launched a brutal assault on the CSK bowlers during the first powerplay. However, on the other end, Shikhar Dhawan perished at 7 off 7.
Game Begins, Prithvi Shaw Continues on Good Form
Shaw made sure that Dhawan’s wicket doesn’t affect the momentum of the inning and continues with his attack. He made a 27-ball-half century to compensate for Dhawan’s wicket. The stage was all set for DC to reach a decent total. But the team was again jolted by wickets.
First to go was Shreays Iyer, who has been having an abysmal form this year. After Iyer it was Axar Patel’s time to go. The troubles worsened as in form Prithvi Shaw also got greedy and was sent back to the dressing room at 60 for 34. Soon, DC was reeling at 80/4 with still 9 overs to go. That’s where Rishabh Pant stepped in and steadied the boat.
Pant – Hetmyer Steady DC Boat
Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer made sure that no more wickets fell. Pant played judiciously and made his applause worthy half-century. Meanwhile, Hetmyer also played a crucial 37 off 24 inning. DC gave CSK a respectable total of 172 to chase down.
The Chase Begins
Contrary to the start DC got, CSK lost the wicket of Faf du Plesis in the first over itself. He was stupefied and bowled over by a cracker of a delivery by Annrich Nortje. For DC fans, this would turn to be the only cause for celebration for the next 13-or-so overs.
Uthappa Shows Class
Coming in at number 2, experienced batter Robin Uthappa showed that form is temporary but class is permanent. On the other end, Ruturaj Gaikwad also looked to be in a decent touch after a stuttered start. Together with Uthappa, he added 110 runs for the second wicket.
However, DC found itself back in the game after Uthappa, Shardul Thakur and Ambati Raidu got out in quick succession. CSK was jolted from 110/1 to 119/4.
Final 3 Overs – 35 Needed
The situation went down to the wire as CSK needed 35 runs off 3 overs. Ruturaj Gaikwad hit multiple boundaries in the Anrrich over and got out 11 runs off it. However, Gaikwad’s fine inning came to an end the next over.
Thala Dhoni Enters the Game
What happened next, would be remembered by every CSK and MS Dhoni fan for months and years. The former Indian skipper chose to remind people off his good-old-days. With 24 still needed in 11, Dhoni first hit a hammer-pulled six and inched closer to victory.
Hattrick of Boundaries– A Return to Form?
It was the final over when MS Dhoni was on strike and the ball was in Tom Curran’s hands. Curran tried to surprise Dhoni with a slower one, but the latter let his experience take over and hit him for a four. This was followed by another boundary by CSK skipper. Curran, obviously under pressure, bowled a wide. And then the ‘best finisher in the world’ showed why he deserves the title. He slammed one more boundary and took his team to the 9th IPL final.