Mahendra Singh Dhoni finished off in style after hitting a towering six off Siddarth Kaul’s delivery to defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday night. Chennai Super Kings has become the first franchise to qualify for the IPL 2021 playoffs. After a six-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Sharjah, CSK qualified for the playoffs 11th time in the 12 seasons they participated.
It was not just a special day for Dhoni as a captain but also as a keeper as he became the first wicket-keeper to complete 100 catches for a franchise.
Dhoni won the toss and opted to bowl first. With a splendid bowling effort CSK restricted SRH to a 134-run total. CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (45) and Faf du Plessis (41) gave a splendid start to the men in Yellow.
CSK’s performance has been the most successful in IPL 2021 despite some experts waiving them off at the beginning of the season. Following the team’s win over KKR, Dhoni had talked about the factor behind their success in the UAE. He said in the post-match virtual press conference, “I think in patches we bowled well. Bowlers took responsibility. Not to forget it was hot and humid. It’s an afternoon game so it’s not easy for the fast bowlers. We tried to give them smaller spells — one or two over spells — to keep their energy level up."
With 9 wins from 11 matches played so far in the league, CSK is enjoys the top spot on the Points Table with 18 points while Delhi Capitals settles for the second place with 16 points. Virat Kohli led RCB is in the third place followed by KKR. Amidst all the excitement the IPL brings, we find five-time IPL champions, Mumbai Indians in the fifth place with 10 points.