CSK win and qualify!
Phew, after 67 league games across 51 days of non-stop action, IPL 2023 has its second team in the playoffs. And it’s the usual suspects Chennai Super Kings, who with a 77-run win over Delhi Capital roared into yet another playoff, their 12th top-four finish in the 14 seasons they have appeared in so far.
CSK put up a near insurmountable total of 223, which is a tough target against most oppositions on most pitches but proved especially plain-sailing against DC, a team that’s been eliminated for about a week now and still doesn’t seem to have a grip on its home conditions. Warner’s lone fight aside, DC were never in the run-chase and crawled to 146/9 in their 20 overs. That the last over of the run-chase was a double-wicket maiden tells a story.
A good start with the ball too
Tushar Deshpande struck in his first over to get rid of Prithvi Shaw, who was caught by a flying Ambati Rayudu in the deep. Deepak Chahar then seals off the powerplay in CSK’s favour with double strike of Salt and Rossouw. David Warner has end one end taught but that might not be enough for DC in this 224 run chase.
CSK finish with 223/3
A very good total on this pitch. Ruturaj fell to a short ball from Sakariya, DC’s best bowler on the day, while Conway fell to a slower ball from Nortje but the 141-run opening stand between the two batters gave CSK enough headway and thrust for a 200+ total. Shivam Dube’s 9-ball 22 built perfectly from thereon but truth be told, DC were very ordinary with their lines and lengths. At the halfway mark, the match looks way beyond DC but funny things happen in IPL. We’ll recommend you stay tuned…
Century opening stand
Gaikwad and Conway are the second CSK opening pair to have aggregated 1000-plus runs after Murali Vijay and Michael Hussey (1360). No other CSK opening pair has more than two century stands! And here, they are looking at home on what’s a two-paced low pitch. Gaikwad hits his 14th fifty for CSK, looking at home against pace and spin. His three sixes in an over against Kuldeep Yadav remain the highlight. For DC, the bowling hasn’t been upto the mark; they just haven’t been able to find the right length on this pitch.
CSK off to a fast start
It might be a slow pitch but CSK have ensured that they make the best use of the pitch in the powerplay. 52/0 after 6 overs would be a good total at most venues but more so here. Both Ruturaj and Conway have looked good in the middle. DC tried to shake up things and bowled Lalit Yadav in the second over, but the story for them hasn’t been very different.
“CSK have lost just nine wickets in the Powerplay this season. Eight of the other nine teams have lost 16 or more in the phase, KKR and PBKS leading with 28 each,” pings Roshan Gede.
CSK opt to bat
MS Dhoni opts to bat, reckons “Day game, the pitch will also slow down as the match progresses, that’s the reason we wanted to bat first”. Same team, he confirms. Warner rues not being able to make Delhi home and says that Ishant isn’t playing today.
Delhi Capitals (Playing XI): David Warner(c), Philip Salt(w), Rilee Rossouw, Yash Dhull, Aman Hakim Khan, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Chetan Sakariya, Khaleel Ahmed, Anrich Nortje
DC Impact subs: Mukesh Kumar, Prithvi Shaw, Praveen Dubey, Ripal Patel and Abhishek Porel
Chennai Super Kings (Playing XI): Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni(w/c), Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana
CSK Impact subs: Matheesha Pathirana, Mitchell Santner, Subranshu Senapathi, Shaik Rasheed and Akash Singh
Welcome to a crucial game in the scheme of things (isn’t this exciting!). CSK are a win away from confirming a playoff berth and will go all out against DC in Kotla. You must check out the match preview and the qualification scenarios. For Warner and Co., this game will be about looking forward to the next year and getting the most out of this last game of the season for them.