MS Dhoni finished the innings in trademark fashion to book CSK a place in the final (PC: IPL)
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batsmen Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa looked back at the extraordinary finish against the Delhi Capitals (DC) that secured them a place in the 2021 IPL finals. The three-time winners needed a vintage finish from their skipper MS Dhoni, who took the side home on Sunday (October 10) night with a splendid six-ball, 18-run cameo.
Before the exhilarating finish, it was the top-order duo of Gaikwad (70) and Uthappa (63) that set up a solid foundation with a 110-run partnership for the second wicket. CSK were in trouble early on in the chase after losing Faf Du Plessis for a duck in the first over itself.
Both players lauded the effort from their skipper, who was under pressure heading into the game. Speaking to each other following the culmination of the match, they said:
“He’s a man of big stages for sure and he would absorb any pressure given to him and he did a good job and hopefully we are just one game away,” Gaikwad said.”You can never write off someone like MS Dhoni at that situation in the biggest stage. He is the best there was, and I think the best there is. He is the man you want in that kind of situation,” Uthappa said
CSK made the perfect statement following their debacle in the UAE last year. This marks the ninth IPL final for the franchise in 14 editions.
I think if not for that little niggle, we would have finished it off: CSK’s Uthappa
The mammoth partnership for the second wicket was crucial to CSK’s success in the end. The duo of Gaikwad and Uthappa never let the required rate affect them and even matched it as their partnership progressed.
It seemed at one stage that Gaikwad and Uthappa would take the side home after taming the DC bowling unit. CSK, however, lost trajectory after the loss of Uthappa’s wicket, which brought upon the surprise promotion of Shardul Thakur at No.4.
Uthappa reckons the duo would have been able to wrap up the chase themselves had he not suffered a niggle. He added:
“The focus was completely on the game. I’ve been sitting out for like 10-11 games, so always wanted to contribute to the team. When the opportunity came along, I knew that I had to be true to myself. When I came out to bat, my only thought process was to stitch a good partnership. I think if not for that little niggle, I think we would have finished it off.”
CSK now awaits the fates of the three remaining teams in the competition. One of them will join the Chennai outfit in the final IPL 2021 on Friday (October 15) in Dubai.