With stellar performances from Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Deepak Chahar, the Chennai Super Kings crushed the Delhi Capitals by 77 runs on Saturday in New Delhi to clinch a spot in the IPL playoffs.
After captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni elected to bat, the Chennai Super Kings, playing a must-win game, saw both Conway (87 off 52 balls) and Gaikwad (79 off 50 balls) smash stunning half-centuries to help them record a formidable 223/3.
DC’s top batsman this year, captain David Warner, batted alone and scored 86 runs off 58 balls. The host team lost several key players in the top order within the Powerplay overs, and as a result, they were only able to score 146 runs in 20 overs.
Again, DC’s batting lineup fell short, with Warner being the only player to reach double digits. Prithvi Shaw, Yash Dhull, Lalit Patel, and Aman Hakim Khan, among others from India’s wasteful core, never stopped being embarrassing and never looked like they belonged at this level.
The crowd, too, was on the side of the visitors, as seen by its constant chants of “Dhoni Dhoni” and its cheers whenever Delhi lost a wicket.
Bowling-wise, the visitors were led by Chahar (3/22) and Maheesh Theekshana (2/23), who took two wickets in the final over.
CSK improved to 17 points with the victory, making them the second team to advance to the playoffs.
CSK’s net run rate of 0.652 makes them a near lock for a top-two finish, since the only other team that can end on 17 points is Lucknow Super Giants, who play Kolkata Knight Riders in the day’s second match and would need a massive win to improve their NRR of 0.304.
On the sticky Kotla surface, Conway and Gaikwad came out swinging for the fences and belting sixes. The opening stand between the two scored 141 runs, with the help of 14 fours and 10 sixes.
Delhi’s 2023 IPL season finished the same way it had started: with a loss.
Their match performance was typical of their disappointing season, with lacklustre bowling, clusters of wickets lost, and an overseas hitter carrying the load at the crease.
DC’s batting lineup looked dismal while IPL veteran Warner scored his sixth fifty of the year.