IPL 2023: CSK seal playoffs spot in style

CSK players celebrate the fall of a wicket. Photo: PTI/Manvender Vashist Lav

New Delhi: Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Deepak Chahar brought their 'A' game to the fore as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) cantered to a 77-run victory over Delhi Capitals (DC) to seal their place in the IPL playoffs here on Saturday.

Conway (87 off 52) and Gaikwad (79 off 50) smashed brilliant half-centuries to help CSK post a challenging 223/3 after captain MS Dhoni opted to bat in a crucial fixture.

Skipper David Warner, DC's best batter this season, waged a lone battle, scoring 86 off 58 deliveries. But in the end the home team could manage only 146/9 in 20 overs after Chahar dealt a killer blow removing a couple of top-order batters within the Powerplay.

It was another disappointing performance from DC batters as barring Warner none of the others could cross 15. The profligate Indian core of the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Yash Dhull, Lalit Patel and Aman Hakim Khan flopped.

Even the crowd was supporting the visitors as it continued to chant 'Dhoni Dhoni' through out the game and even cheered when DC lost wickets.

Chahar (3/22) was the standout bowler for the visitors while Maheesh Theekshana (2/23) picked up two wickets in the last over

With the win, CSK moved up to 17 points and become the second team to move to the qualifiers.

Ravindra Jadeja and M S Dhoni
Ravindra Jadeja and M S Dhoni celebrate the fall of a wicket. Photo: PTI/Manvender Vashist Lav

Conway and Gaikwad came all guns blazing, hitting boundaries and sixes at will at the tacky Kotla pitch. The two put on 141 runs for the opening stand and hit a total of 14 fours and 10 sixes.

DC's IPL campaign ended how it began -- with a defeat.

Shaw's (5) nightmare of a season ended with another failure. He was caught off the bowling of his Mumbai teammate Tushar Deshpande by a flying Ambati Rayudu, who timed his dive to perfection at mid off.

After being hit for a maximum and a four by Warner, Chahar came back with a bang. The pacer dealt twin blows, getting rid of big-hitters Phil Salt (3) and Rilee Rossouw (0) off successive deliveries.

Young Dhull (13) kept Warner company in the middle for a bit as the skipper hit the big shots but the partnerships didn't last long.

The Australian southpaw attacked Ravindra Jadeja, hitting the spinner for two sixes and as many fours in two overs, which yielded 37 runs. But the skipper kept on losing partners at the other end which made it difficult to chase the 200-plus score.

Devon Conway
Chennai Super Kings opener Devon Conway in action. Photo: PTI/Manvender Vashist Lav

Earlier, Conway and Gaikwad began the onslaught in the second over when CSK collected 13 runs off Yadav with Conway hitting a cracking six.

The DC bowlers were punished for erring in their lengths.

With field restrictions lifted, DC managed to dry out the boundaries before Gaikwad hit Axar Patel for back-to-back sixes over mid wicket and got to his third fifty of the season.

While Gaikwad assumed the role of the aggressor, Conway complemented his fellow opener well as he clipped, pulled and cut en-route his half-century.

Gaikwad then targeted Kuldeep Yadav, hammering a hat-trick of sixes. The opener first whipped one over long off and then sent the ball over wide long on.

But all eyes were on Dhoni (5 not out ) who faced just four balls. However, the CSK skipper was on strike for the last ball which had to be bowled a couple of times as Sakariya bowled a no ball and a wide. 

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