The MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 final in Dubai on yesterday (15) and lifted their fourth IPL title.
CSK, who posted 192/3 on the board on the back of Faf du Plessis’ brilliant 86, restricted KKR to 165/9 and sealed a 27-run win.
In the chase, Shubman Gill creamed a four on the first legitimate delivery. Venkatesh Iyer then enjoyed a stroke of luck as MS Dhoni could not complete the catch in the second over.
The left-hander then took the attack to CSK bowlers, hitting three fours and a six by the end of the fourth over. The KKR opening pair continued their impressive run of form and powered the team to 55/0 after 6 overs.
While CSK looked to keep things tight, Iyer and Gill scored 16 runs in the 10th over – an over which saw Iyer completing his fourth fifty of the season and a spider-cam string coming to Gill’s rescue – to KKR to 88/0.
CSK then struck thrice in quick succession to change the course of the match. First, Shardul Thakur dismissed Venkatesh Iyer, courtesy a brilliant catch in the deep by Ravindra Jadeja, and Nitish Rana, thanks to a good low catch by du Plessis in the 11th over.
In the next over, Josh Hazlewood got Sunil Narine out as Jadeja took a fine catch near the ropes, helping CSK scalp three wickets for nine runs.
While Gill brought up a solid half-century, CSK continued to chip away as Deepak Chahar trapped the KKR right-hander before the wickets in the 14th over. Jadeja then bowled a double-wicket over, dismissing Dinesh Karthik and Shakib Al Hasan to push KKR on the backfoot.
Shardul picked his third wicket, dismissing Rahul Tripathi, while Hazlewood scalped his second wicket of the match as Chahar took a superb catch near the ropes to get Eoin Morgan out in the 17th over.
Although Shivam Mavi and Lockie Ferguson added 39 runs, it was too little too late as CSK went on to seal a fine win to clinch their fourth IPL title.
Earlier, KKR, who elected to bowl, and CSK remained unchanged.
Shakib Al Hasan and Shivam Mavi kept things tight in the first two overs and were almost rewarded with the wicket of du Plessis in the third over. But Dinesh Karthik could not collect the ball cleanly and du Plessis got a life. du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad hit a four each in th e next over before going on to complete another fifty-run partnership on the final ball of the powerplay. But 11 runs later, KKR managed to break the opening stand as Sunil Narine dismissed Gaikwad as Shivam Mavi took the catch in the deep.
But CSK went after Shakib in the 10th over as du Plessis and Robin Uthappa hit a six each as CSK moved to 80/1 at the halfway stage of their innings. The two went after the KKR bowling and completed a fifty-run merely in 25 deliveries. Meanwhile, du Plessis, who was playing his 100th IPL game, brought up his 22nd IPL half-century.
Narine once again came to KKR’s rescue as he trapped Uthappa before the wickets to give Eoin Morgan and Co. their second wicket.
While du Plessis got out on the final ball of the innings after scoring a fantastic 86, he and Moeen, who scored a quickfire 37* off 20 balls, scored 61 runs in the last five overs to push CSK to 192/3.
Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 192/3 (Faf du Plessis 86, Moeen Ali 37*; Sunil Narine 2/26) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 165/9 (Shubman Gill 51, Venkatesh Iyer 50; Shardul Thakur 3/38) by 27 runs.