Dubai: MS Dhoni has inspired generations with his playing style, captaincy, finishing skills. Over the years, he might not have been at his best with the willow, but he remains a potent threat as a keeper and captain. On Sunday evening (October 10), the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain came to his very best as a finisher in IPL 2021's Qualifier 1 versus the Rishabh Pant-led Delhi Capitals (DC); leading the Yellow Army to an emphatic 4-wicket win in the last over. With this, he took his side to their record 9th final in the IPL.
After asking DC to bat first, CSK had a stiff challenge to chase down 173 in 20 overs. DC rode on attacking knocks from Prithvi Shaw (60), Rishabh Pant (51*) and Shimron Hetmyer (37) to post 172-5. CSK lost Faf du Plessis soon but a century-stand from half-centurions Ruturaj Gaikwad (70) and Robin Uthappa (63) laid the platform for Chennai's win.
As a result of the close contest, two young kids -- being ardent CSK supporters -- were left teary-eyed at the stands. Shouting and cheering relentlessly for the Yellow Army, the CSK skipper Dhoni tossed up an autographed ball to the kids -- particularly for the emotional young girl -- to win hearts off the field as well.
After the match, Dhoni opined on his memorable finish and told at the post-match presentation, "Nothing special, just watch the ball and hit the ball. I haven't done a lot in the tournament. So you want to get that out of the system. If you are batting well in the nets, just look for the ball, what are the variations, where the bowler could bowl. Other than that there was nothing much in the mind. If there are too many things floating around, it becomes difficult to watch the ball."
Dhoni's gift to his littles big hearted Fans pic.twitter.com/zbxcPvb9aW— Ashok Rana (@AshokRa72671545) October 10, 2021
CSK will now wait for their opposition in the final, with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to play Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Eliminator whereas DC will play the winner of the KKR-RCB tie.