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Cometh the hour, cometh the man! And MS Dhoni once again proved why he has been one of the best finishers in limited-overs cricket. His franchise, Chennai Super Kings needed 24 runs off 13 balls and Dhoni scripted the finishing act-- 18 runs in just six balls to steer his side home and into the IPL 2021 finals, for a whopping ninth time, in 12 seasons! Chennai Super Kings have traditionally been a consistent franchise and this number is just a testimony to this fact. Batting first, Delhi Capitals were propelled by fifties from Prithvi Shaw (60) and skipper Rishabh Pant (51*) as they posted a 173-run total for Chennai to chase down and enter the final. After rocking the former champions with a wicket of in-form Faf du Plessis in the very first over, Chennai's ship was steadied by a stylish, sensible and attractive 110-run partnership between Robin Uthappa and Ruturaj Gaikwad. Uthappa showed glimpses of the form he had while playing for Kolkata Knight Riders back in 2014 with 63 off 44 balls while Gaikwad recovered from a poor run in the last two games to score 70 runs off just 50 deliveries. DC vs CSK Highlights Qualifier 1, VIVO IPL 2021: MS Dhoni Wins It for Chennai Super Kings, Former Champions Enter Ninth Final
The duo looked set to win the match for Chennai but the quick dismissals of Uthappa, Shardul Thakur and Ambati Rayudu pegged the former champions back and Delhi clawed their way into this contest. When Moeen Ali (16) was dismissed in the last over, Dhoni took it on himself to win the match for his side, scoring 18 runs off just six balls, steering his side to the final, with two balls to spare. Ah! What a sight to see Dhoni win matches for his side! Never really gets old!
Meanwhile, take a look at some of the stat highlights of the game:
#Ruturaj Gaikwad became the third CSK player after Mike Hussey (733 runs, 2013 season), Ambati Rayudu (602 runs, 2018 season) to score 600 runs in one IPL season. He now has 603 runs and is just 23 away from the Orange Cap holder KL Rahul, who scored 626 runs in 13 matches.
#Ruturaj Gaikwad has scored 400+ runs in the UAE this season.
#CSK have entered their ninth IPL final from 12 seasons.
#Ruturaj Gaikwad becomes the second player after KL Rahul to score 600 runs in IPL 2021.
# Robin Uthappa scored his 25th IPL half-century and his first for Chennai Super Kings.
#Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant scored the first and second individual fifties for Delhi Capitals in the UAE leg of IPL 2021.
Delhi Capitals skipper would perhaps rue the decision of using Tom Curran in the final over with Kagiso Rabada still not having completed his quota of four overs. However, that is a thing of the past now and they would regroup and prepare hard ahead of Qualifier 2, where they would face the winner of the Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders clash in the IPL 2021 Eliminator.