Defending champions Chennai came up with a clinical effort against Delhi at Visakhapatnam in the second Qualifier on Friday to book a place in their eighth Indian T20 Cricket final. They will now meet three-times winners Mumbai Indians.
Bowling first, Chennai's bowlers did an excellent job to restrict Delhi to 147 as Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, and Harbhajan Singh all claimed two wickets each. For Delhi, Rishabh Pant top scored with 38 but too many people got starts and fell, as a result, Delhi never got into any sort of momentum. In response, the fifties from Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson saw Chennai home without much trouble.
Post the match, Chennai skipper MS Dhoni was all praise for his bowlers. He said their ability to restrict the opponents went a long way in the team making it to yet another final.
“The crucial part was to keep getting wickets. The credit needs to go to the bowlers. The captain only asks this is what I need. Then it’s up to them to figure out how to bowl, and they have to put in the hard yards,” Dhoni said at the after-match presentation ceremony.
“Thanks to the bowling department for where we are this season. I would have preferred it if the openers finished it off. Once they got the required rate below 6 an over, there was no reason to play big shots and get out. They did the hard yards,” he added.
On the other hand, Shreyas Iyer stated that it was clearly their poor batting on the big day that let the team down. “We had a disappointing start, losing two wickets in the powerplay, and it was hard to recover from that. They have amazing spinners. But we’ve had a great season,” he said.
“None of the batsmen took the initiative to take the team through and there wasn’t a partnership building. Disappointing for us but good learning," Iyer added.
Speaking about the slow pitch at Feroz Shah Kotla at home, on which they struggled to do well, Iyer admitted, “It’s something to think about. We didn’t win too many home games, but we can’t complain about pitches. We’ve been practicing a lot on slow wickets. As professionals, we can’t give excuses."
--By A Cricket Correspondent