IPL 2021 | DC vs CSK: Hits & Flops as thrilling last over victory see Delhi take pole position

Abhishek Singh

Abhishek Singh

Author| Oct 4, 7:45 PM

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PC- Twitter

It didn’t look like going to the wire, but the Indian Premier League games during this UAE leg have been anything but predictable. Low scoring thrillers have been the theme of the second half of the season and this one went the same road. Courtesy of this hard-fought three-wicket win, the Delhi Capitals have now reclaimed the pole position from the Chennai Super Kings and looks like they might stay there till the group stage ends. 

It was a battle of perseverance basically which Capitals had to fight and Krishnappa Gowtham, a substitute fielder dropping a sitter at long-on of Shimron Hetmyer, who eventually became the main hero for the Capitals, did help them win that battle. 

While Shimron Hetmyer was one hero, there were others too who showcased their brilliance to make this seemingly boring game way more interesting than even a high scoring run chase. At the same time, there were dull performances too. All these would be clubbed and discussed under the below section called Hits and Flops. 

Hits

Shimron Hetmyer

Shimron Hetmyer, a specialist batter in the team was sent after newcomer Ripal Patel and bowling all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin. He was perceived to be a bad player against spin by the Delhi Capitals management. But it was only fitting, and also a tight slap of realisation to Capitals management that he was the one who finished the game for them. 

When he walked into bat, the team from the national capital were in tatters struggling at 98-5 and soon became 99-6 when Shikhar Dhawan, the established batter was gone as well. With 38 runs to get from 30 balls and the ball doing all sorts of dances on the wicket that had become a burial ground for DC batters, Hemyer decided to give a solid fight. 

And he fought indeed, dodging two important overs of Thakur and Moeen Ali without losing the wicket and taking the equation to 28 from the last three overs with Axar Patel alongside him. After hitting him for a four and making him bowl two wides, Hetmer had narrowed down fellow Caribbean Dwayne Bravo who was bowling his first over of the night. 

However, Bravo nearly had him in the third ball but for a sitter being dropped by Gowtham at long-on to give a second lease of life to the left-hander. That was all he needed as he made sure not to give another chance to the Super Kings and managed to finish the game by hitting 28 off just 18 balls, which included getting 22 runs from the 18th and 19th overs combined. 

Ambati Rayudu

In a game where it was hard to even get odd boundaries, Ambati Rayudu stood tall with his 55 unbeaten from 43 balls which was the guiding principle behind CSK managing to get to 136 in their 20 overs. The 36-year-old came to bat after the fall of three wickets. With none among the top four between Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali firing, the onus was on him, being the next most in-form man to take his team to a good score. 

The experienced Andhra batter partnered with his skipper, MS Dhoni, to build a solid base after being 62-4 in the 9th over. When the base was built, Rayudu started firing all cylinders and after having scored only 27 from his first 30 balls, he went on to add, 28 in his next 13 balls to provide the much-needed acceleration to the innings. 

In his knock of 55, Rayudu hit five fours and two sixes. And if it weren’t for a great last over by Avesh Khan, he would have even taken CSK to their desired total of 150. 

Shardul Thakur

Shardul Thakur has been dubbed as the man with the golden arm during this IPL and he lived up to that name as he bowled a brilliant spell to get his team back into the mix after they looked down and out in the first 10 overs of the second innings. 

Shardul was first introduced into the attack in the 10th over when the Capitals had just lost their skipper Rishabh Pant. He bowled miserly, which is very different from his trait. After bowling two economical overs, he was taken off and his end was changed. Just after the change in his end, the Palghar Express took off and got two wickets in that very over. 

The 29-year-old removed Ravichandran Ashwin with toe crushing yorkers on which Ashwin wasn’t even to get his bat down in time. On the third ball, he once again removed Shikhar Dhawan caught behind, but which was later overruled by the third umpire with the help of the DRS. But that wasn’t a relief that lasted long as on the sixth ball of that very same over, he got the wicket he wanted as Dhawan was caught at shirt covers by Moeen Ali. 

Shardul was given another over on trot to try and break the last resistance in the form of Shimon Hetmyer, but he couldn’t do it and finished his four-over spell with figures of 2-13. 

Flops

MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni must realise that he is not even a shadow of the batter that he used to be and given the fact that he still is the best wicket-keeper and captain that CSK could have, he must relinquish his batting dreams and let the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo come ahead of him. 

In this game, he made the mistake of coming ahead of Jadeja and Bravo in the batting order. And although he managed to stop the flow of wicket losses by sticking together with Raydu and creating a 70 runs partnership off 64 balls, it was almost made redundant with the number of dot balls he played. 

The 40-year-old scored 18 off 27 balls and could not hit even a single boundary during his stay at the crease and in the 20th over while trying to hit a boundary he got out on the very first ball, which laid down the foundation of a very bad 20th over from the perspective if the batting team, as only four runs came from it. 

In the field too, he made a great mistake by holding Bravo for far too long. And then in the 19th over, the decision to come up to the stumps and yet asking the bowler to bowl wide outside off at pace was also a huge mistake which gave away two important runs where the team was defending only five runs. 

Deepak Chahar

There were many candidates for the last Flop in the list, but Deepak Chahar surpassed, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Robin Uthappa to take the wooden spoon because of his utterly bad figures for a low scoring thriller. The swing bowler, even after managing to get rid of Shaw, gave away 21 runs in a single over, hit by Dhawan to end up with figures of 1-34 from only three overs. 

In the context that his team was defending only 136, it was a huge crime to give away 21 runs in only one over and that too while bowling in the powerplay, which is considered his biggest strength. 

For Chennai to now finish in the top two, they must beat Punjab Kings, and even if they are unable to beat Punjab Kings, they must hope that RCB loses it’s both games, otherwise there would be trouble for Dhoni’smen and they might end up playing Eliminator instead of Qualifier-1. 

For Capitals, a top-two finish looks like a certainty until and unless they lose very big against RCB and both Chennai and Bangalore mane to win their remaining games handsomely.

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