Chennai Super Kings beats Kolkata Knight Riders to win fourth IPL title

Faf du Plessis' 59-ball 86 coupled with Shardul Thakur's 3 for 38 propelled CSK to its fourth IPL title in Dubai on Friday.

CSK

IPL 2021 champion Chennai Super Kings   -  Sportzpics for IPL

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, in 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. 

Earlier, riding on Faf du Plessis’ 59-ball 86, CSK, inserted, 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.

IPL 2021 Final, HIGHLIGHTS: Dhoni's Chennai wins 4th IPL title, thumps Kolkata by 27 runs  

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.

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, eventually, 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, Morgan, was taken out by Hazlewood.

It was all over for KKR.

Du Plessis takes flight

Earlier, du Plessis was fortunate to be let off on two by Dinesh Karthik, who missed a leg-side stumping off Shakib-Al-Hasan. 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 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 into the attack. Ferguson received the treatment, pulled, punched through covers, and struck through the straight field. And du Plessis 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, 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 in a high-pressure game.

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 Chakravarthy’s carrom ball and googly and slicing apart the pacemen for a 20-ball unbeaten 37.

This was a night when CSK made all the right moves.

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