Spirited Capitals ensure top-two slot

Wednesday 06th October 2021 07:00 EDT

Shimron Hetmyer kept his nerves and played some fine shots under pressure to guide Delhi Capitals to a three-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in a battle for top-two finish in the Indian Premier League on Monday. Needing 28 from the last three overs to reach the target of 137, the Guyanese picked 12 runs against Dwayne Bravo and then got 10 off pacer Josh Hazlewood to bring down the equation to six runs from six balls. DC completed the job with two balls to spare despite losing Axar Patel. Hetmyer remained not out on a vital 28 off 18 balls, including a crucial six in the penultimate over. A disciplined performance by Delhi bowlers restricted Chennai Super Kings to 136 for five despite a 43-ball 55 not out from the seasoned Ambati Rayudu.

Chennai confirm their playoffs spot

Chennai Super Kings became the first team to confirm their spot in the playoffs of the IPL 2021 after defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday. Chasing 136, Chennai overcame a mini-collapse in the middle to reach the target with two balls to spare. It also makes Hyderabad the first team to be knocked out of the tournament. Chennai were in complete control of the chase from the word go. After a sedate start of 12 for no loss in three overs, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis smashed Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a six each on the on-side in the fourth over. In the next over, du Plessis creamed Jason Holder on both sides of the ‘V’. Gaikwad and Du Plessis added 75 runs in the opening partnership. Dhoni finished off the chase with a huge six over deep mid-wicket off Kaul in the final over to seal a playoff spot for his team.

Chahal & Maxwell help RCB qualify

Royal Challengers Bangalore registered a six-run win over Punjab Kings and stroll into the playoffs with two matches to spare. Chasing a competitive 164/7 put up by RCB, Punjab finished on 158/6. The result leaves their qualification chances hanging by a thread. While Glenn Maxwell (57) again starred with the bat for RCB, Yuzvendra Chahal (3/29) and Harshal Patel set the ball rolling for a fine win. Opting to bat on a wicket that slowed down as the match progressed, RCB’s opening pair of Kohli (25) and Devdutt Padikkal (40) got the team off to a brisk start. However, the skipper struggled to connect, and after a few misses, his frustration was palpable. In the eighth over, Punjab were left disappointed after Padikkal’s reverse sweep off Ravi Bishnoi’s googly landed in wicketkeeper Rahul’s hands. With the decision referred to the third umpire K Srinivasan, the ultra-edge showed a slight spike off Padikkal’s glove, but the decision went in the batsman’s favour.

Kolkata move closer to playoff berth

Kolkata Knight Riders stepped on the ground in Dubai on Sunday evening knowing fully well that only one playoffs spot remains up for grabs. The team showed the intent to go for it right from the word go after Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat. The KKR bowlers set up the platform by restricting the rivals to 115 for eight and then opener Subhman Gill led from the front to take the side home getting 119 runs losing four wickets. The six-wicket victory kept the Kolkata side firmly on course to make the last four with 12 points and Rajasthan Royals to play in their last encounter. Except for a small phase in the middle overs when eight runs came from 24 balls (7-10th over), SRH bowlers failed to build up enough pressure. Gill then broke free as he came down the wicket to lift Rashid Khan over the midwicket boundary to bring up the 50 of the innings.

Mumbai's play-off chances fading away

Shreyas Iyer showed steely temperament while Ravichandran Ashwin compensated his poor bowling effort with a final six as Delhi Capitals inched towards a top-two finish, beating Mumbai Indians by four wickets in an IPL match on Saturday. Chasing a modest 130 on a challenging Sharjah Stadium track, DC made a rough weather of the chase but Iyer with a run-a-ball 33 anchored the innings and added crucial unbroken 39-run stand with Ashwin (20 not out). Needing just four runs from the last over, Ashwin sealed the chase with five balls to spare as he hit a six off Krunal Pandya as the duo shared a match-defining partnership, consuming 36 balls. The win took DC to 18 points from 12 games and one more win is sure to clinch a top-two finish with one more win as only twin defeats in last two games and three big wins for RCB and at least one victory from CSK will push them to third spot. That looks improbable at the moment with the scenario of net run-rate. This is the seventh loss in 12 matches this season for the five-time champions MI and their chances of qualifying for playoffs are fast fading away.

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