Indian Premier League

Dhoni cameo helps Chennai down Delhi to reach ninth IPL final

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MS Dhoni of Chennai Super Kings
MS Dhoni of Chennai Super Kings
Twitter/@ChennaiIPL

Ruturaj Gaikwad's 70 and an unbeaten cameo from skipper MS Dhoni helped Chennai Super Kings reach a ninth Indian Premier League final with a four-wicket win over Delhi Capitals on Sunday.

Chasing 173 for victory, Chennai rode on a 110-run second-wicket partnership between Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa (63) but were in trouble after the two departed.

Delhi pace bowler Tom Curran needed to defend 13 off the final over and got Moeen Ali out for 16 on the first ball.

But Dhoni (18) kept his calm to smash three boundaries and take the team home with two balls to spare.

"My innings was a crucial one," said 40-year-old Dhoni.

"Delhi has a very good bowling attack. They exploited the conditions well, so we knew it would be tough."

Virat Kohli, whose Royal Challengers Bangalore face Kolkata Knight Riders in the eliminator on Monday, hailed Dhoni's vintage performance.

"And the king is back, the greatest finisher in the game. Made me jump Outta my seat once again tonight," Kohli, who will step down as Bangalore captain after end of season, tweeted.

Dhoni will be India's mentor in the upcoming T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman where Kohli will captain the national team for one final time in the shortest format.

The first IPL qualifier had the top two teams in the league table clash, with three-time champions Chennai getting a direct entry into the final - their ninth in 14 seasons - on 15 October.

Delhi, led by Rishabh Pant, will have another shot at securing a berth in the final when they play the second qualifier on Wednesday.

"We are going to rectify our mistakes, learn from it and hopefully, we can move on and play the final," said Pant.

Delhi posted 172-5 with attacking knocks from Prihvi Shaw (60) and skipper Rishabh Pant (51 not out).

Chennai's Australian import Josh Hazlewood took two wickets while Moeen returned figures of 1-27 with his off-spin.

Chennai lost Faf du Plessis for one, bowled by Anrich Nortje in the first over, before Gaikwad and Uthappa set up the chase.

Curran hit back with two wickets in one over including Uthappa's key scalp, but the in-form Gaikwad took the attack to the opposition and got past 600 runs this season.

Delhi, meanwhile, will now play the winner of the eliminator in the third playoff.

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Fixtures
Thu 14 Apr 22 14:00 PM (SAST)
Rajasthan Royals
Gujarat Titans
Dr DY Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai
Fri 15 Apr 22 14:00 PM (SAST)
Sunrisers Hyderabad
Kolkata Knight Riders
Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
Sat 16 Apr 22 10:00 AM (SAST)
Mumbai Indians
Lucknow Super Giants
Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
Results
Tue 17 May 22
Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad
Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians
Sunrisers Hyderabad won by 3 runs
Mon 16 May 22
Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals
Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings
Delhi Capitals won by 17 runs
Sun 15 May 22
Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals
Lucknow Super Giants
Lucknow Super Giants
Rajasthan Royals won by 24 runs
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
Team Logo
1. Gujarat Titans
13
10
20
Team Logo
2. Rajasthan Royals
13
8
16
Team Logo
3. Lucknow Super Giants
13
8
16
Team Logo
4. Delhi Capitals
13
7
14