Indian Premier League 2021 finals | Clinical Super Kings outplay Knight Riders, clinch fourth title

Chennai Super Kings' Faf du Plessis plays a shot during the Indian Premier League 2021 final against Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai on October 15, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Marshalled expertly by M.S. Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings overcame Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs to win its fourth title in the Indian Premier League, at Dubai, on Friday.

Defending a combative 192 on a good batting surface, Dhoni rang in the changes cleverly, closed down the angles in the field, and kept finding wickets after a blistering 91-run partnership in 10.4 overs between the exciting Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill.

Formidable total

Earlier, riding on Faf du Plessis’ 59-ball 86, CSK, put in to bat, posted a formidable 192 for three.

Then it defended the target with verve although Venkatesh, on zero, was dropped by Dhoni, when Josh Hazlewood got one to seam away.

Southpaw Venkatesh made CSK pay. The next delivery was pulled for a six. And the nerveless Venkatesh proceeded to essay a string of shots against pacemen between cover and point, and dismissed Ravindra Jadeja ruthlessly for sixes.

Venkatesh eventually fatally sliced Shardul Thakur. Then left-handed Nitish Rana drove a cross-seamer straight to mid-off. Thakur’s double strike hurt KKR.

Sunil Narine was superbly taken at deep mid-wicket by Jadeja off Hazlewood. Pace variations were on view.

Opener Gill was keeping one end going although he was not able to up the tempo, save a few shots of grace and timing.

He was fortunate on 27 when Ambati Rayudu ‘caught’ a skier off Jadeja but replays revealed the ball had struck the spider cam on its way up. Gill was trapped leg-before by a full delivery from Chahar for 51.

KKR proceeded to lose a bunch of wickets. Dinesh Karthik was prised out by Jadeja, who then trapped Shakib Al Hasan leg-before. If the choice was between the explosive Andre Russell and Shakib for the final, KKR had picked the wrong man. The out-of-form skipper Eoin Morgan was taken out by Hazlewood. It was all over for KKR

Earlier, du Plessis was fortunate to be let off on two by Karthik, who missed a leg-side stumping off Shakib. It was a huge moment in the game.

The Kolkata bowlers took a pounding. There was some more bad news for KKR. The in-form Rahul Tripathi hurt his hamstring while fielding.

du Plessis and the light-footed Ruturaj Gaikwad disrupted the bowlers’ length, found the gaps, hit over the infield, or cleared the ropes. Incredibly, both finished with 600 plus runs in this edition.

From his back-and-across movement, du Plessis launched his attack. Ferguson received the treatment, pulled, punched through covers, and struck through the straight-field. And he also cleared the ropes off the spinners. Meanwhile, Ruturaj (635 runs) went past K.L. Rahul to get his hands on the Orange Cap. Ruturaj, on 32, was caught in the deep off Narine.

There was no let up in the barrage of CSK shots. The powerful Robin Uthappa smote Shakib and clubbed Varun Chakravarthy, both over mid-wicket, for a brace of sixes. And Uthappa lifted Narine over mid-wicket for another six. Uthappa’s hurricane 15-ball 31 enabled CSK to maintain its momentum. The bold Uthappa perished attempting a reverse sweep to Narine.

In the innings’ climactic phase, the left-handed Moeen Ali timed the ball sensationally, picking Varun’s carrom ball and googly and making a 20-ball unbeaten 37. This was a night when CSK made all the right moves.

Ruturaj (635 runs) went past Rahul to win the Orange Cap

A blistering 91-run opening stand between Venkatesh and Gill wasn’t enough for KKR

Brief Scores:

Chennai Super Kings: 192 for 3 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 86, Moeen Ali 37 not out, Ruturaj Gaikwad 32, Robin Uthappa 31; Sunil Narine 2/26).

Kolkata Knight Riders: 165 for 9 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 51, Venkatesh Iyer 50; Shardul Thakur 3/38, Josh Hazlewood 2/29, Ravindra Jadeja 2/37).

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 6:40:32 PM |

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