Chennai Super Kings needed 13 runs from the final over to win the Qualifier 1 of IPL 2021 against Delhi Capitals in Dubai on Sunday night. With Kagiso Rabada left with one over, DC captain Rishabh Pant surprisingly opted to give the ball to Tom Curran who was playing his first game of the UAE leg.
Curran did take a wicket with the first delivery of the final over but MS Dhoni then clubbed him for three consecutive fours to seal the contest in CSK’s favour as they entered a record-extending ninth IPL final.
When asked the thinking behind the decision to not bowl Rabada, Pant explained, “I thought Tom bowled beautifully throughout the match, and so I thought better to use him for the last over."
Curran had indeed bowled well before the final over. His first three overs resulted in just 16 runs and he had two wickets as well. However, the punt to bring him back for one last time failed with a vintage Dhoni taking his side over the line in a successful chase of 173.
DC thus squandered a chance to punch their ticket for the final but they will get another shot in the second qualifier on Wednesday where they will face the winner of Eliminator.
DC vs CSK: Highlights, IPL 2021 Qualifier 1
Pant, who scored an unbeaten half-century, said the loss is disappointing but they will learn from the mistakes and rectify them in the next game.
“Obviously it is very disappointing, and I can’t have enough words to describe how we are feeling. The score was decent, and they got off to a flier. That was the main difference. We are going to rectify our mistakes, learn from it and hopefully, we can move on and play the final," he said.
In the Eliminator on Monday, Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders.