IPL 2023: Gaikwad, Conway shut out DC to guide CSK to Playoffs


The script that unfolded at the Arun Jaitley Stadium (Ferozeshah Kotla) was in keeping with the popular sentiments of thousands of spectators donning the DHONI jersey.

Unchallenged, the Chennai Super Kings cruised to a dominating 77-run victory over an unsteady Delhi Capitals. Indeed, the one-sided nature of the contest was in keeping with the performances of these teams in the league phase.

Importantly, Super Kings finished its league engagements on 17 points, behind leader Gujarat Titans and a place in the Playoffs. In the process, it significantly improved its Net Run Rate (NRR) from +0.381 to +0.652 to make things very difficult for the Lucknow Super Kings, the nearest challenger to the second spot.

On the field, chasing Super Kings’ 223 for three, Capitals’ batting proved a letdown once more this season and finished at a distant 146 for nine.

For one last time, the Capitals innings revolved around skipper David Warner. The left-handed opener scored a 58-ball 86 after witnessing the fall of three wickets in the first five overs and three more before departing in the 19th over. All Super Kings bowlers were among the wickets, with Deepak Chahar scalping three.

After the Super Kings opted to bat during the afternoon when the temperature touched 42 degrees, in-form openers Devon Conway and Player-of-the-Match Ruturaj Gaikwad turned on the heat further. Keeping a blistering pace, the duo raised 141 runs with a strike rate in excess of 150.

Delhi’s attack appeared most ordinary as 52 runs came in the first six overs, and another 96 followed in the next eight before the final flourish produced 75 runs off the last five.

Conway produced some classy batting by timing the strokes to perfection. In comparison, Gaikwad used more power, particularly to send the ball over the midwicket boundary. Both batters hit some glorious drives and never allowed the bowlers to make a comeback.

In the 12th over, Kuldeep Yadav went for 20 runs, including a hat-trick of sixes from Gaikwad. Three overs later, Lalit Yadav was taken for 19 runs. Dube’s three sixes and Jadeja’s lone six and three fours dotted their cameos.

Dhoni who came ahead of Jadeja once again remained unbeaten, scoring a four-ball five in what could well be his last innings at this historic venue.

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