Faf du Plessis (86 off 59 balls) played a magnificent knock to guide Chennai Super Kings to 192/3 in 20 overs against Kolkata Knight Riders in the final of IPL 2021 at the Dubai International Stadium here on Friday. It was an incredible batting effort from Chennai with every batter contributing to the score as Kolkata faltered in their pursuit to apply the choke in middle overs.
Inserted into batting first, Chennai had a flying start as 50 runs came for no loss in the power-play. Ruturaj Gaikwad got off the mark by taking three boundaries off Shakib Al Hasan’s first two overs. Lockie Ferguson came under the attack as Gaikwad and du Plessis took 12 runs off him. Du Plessis then struck a boundary against Shivam Mavi and Varun Chakravarthy to match with Gaikwad’s pace.
Post timeout, the opening stand of 61 runs was broken by Sunil Narine as Gaikwad (32), who also became the Orange cap holder, holed out to long-off. Du Plessis broke the spell of 17 singles by carting Al Hasan over long-off before Robin Uthappa slammed him over deep mid-wicket for the second six of the over.
Du Plessis slammed Ferguson for back-to-back fours before ending the over with a six over long-off to reach his half-century in 35 balls. Uthappa (31) made full use of a reprieve from Narine to slam Chakravarthy, followed by Narine, for sixes. But Narine had the last laugh as Uthappa’s attempt to reverse sweep ended in a plumb lbw decision.
Moeen Ali took Mavi for two sixes over cow corner and down the ground to bring 150 up for Chennai. Ferguson’s horror match continued as Ali went inside-out for a four before du Plessis smacked him for a six and four to complete 19 runs off his final over. Ali creamed Chakravarthy for a four and a six. But Shivam Mavi conceded seven in the final over, including du Plessis holing out to long-off on the final ball, to keep Chennai under 200.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 192/3 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 86, Moeen Ali 37 not out, Sunil Narine 2/26, Shivam Mavi 1/32) against Kolkata Knight Riders