Was it Chepauk or Kotla? Anyone could have mistaken the Arun Jaitley Stadium for Chennai venue today. It was sea of yellow with chants of ‘Dhoni, Dhoni’ filling the air at Qila Kotla on Saturday. The ‘Yellow Army’ burst into celebration as Dhoni & co posted a thumping win over Delhi Capitals and qualified for IPL 2023 playoffs. The stunning partnership between Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway and Deepak Chahar’s clever bowling resulted in the 77-run win for CSK. This is the 12th time in the history of IPL that CSK have made way to the playoffs. They are the second team after defending champs Gujarat Titans to seal the playoff spot.
‘Thala’ Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat first. Conway and Gaikwad came to bat and never left the pitch! Well not before they had amassed a huge total for CSK. In last five overs, CSK got another 75 runs and ended their innings with mega target of 224 for host Delhi Capitals. The home team lost couple of wickets early in the game and never really recovered. Skipper David Warner was the sole player who fought back. But with no stable partnership, Warner couldn’t really do much. Wickets keep tumbling as CSK bowlers wreaked havoc. Chahar, Jadeja, Pathirana and Theekshana all made sure that DC batters didn’t have chance in this must-win match for them.
While Warner, an IPL stalwart notched his sixth fifty of the season, other DC batters cut a sorry figure. Shaw’s (5) nightmare of a season ended with another disappointing show. He was caught off the bowling of his Mumbai teammate Tushar Deshpande by a flying Ambati Rayudu, who timed his dive to perfection at mid off. After being hit for a maximum and a four by Warner, Chahar came back with a bang. The pacer dealt twin blow, getting rid of big-hitters Phil Salt (3) and Rilee Rossouw (0) off successive deliveries. Young Dhull (13) kept Warner company in the middle for a bit as the skipper hit the big shots but the partnerships didn’t last long.
(With agency inputs)