NEW DELHI: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) had the last laugh in IPL 2021, as MS Dhoni's army outclassed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an essentially one-sided final to win by 27 runs in the end.
It is CSK's fourth title win in Indian Premier League history, while KKR missed a chance to add a third trophy to their cabinet.
Here are the major match highlights:
Chennai Super Kings' Innings
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis built a solid foundation: CSK openers Gaikwad and du Plessis ensured that KKR bowlers didn't penetrate early, as the duo put up a 61-run stand in eight overs. That after CSK were put in to bat on a pitch which was definitely much more conducive to stroke-making than the Sharjah tracks, where KKR had won their previous two matches. Gaikwad (32 off 27 balls) departed against the run of play, when Sunil Narine got the first breakthrough for his side to break the opening partnership.
(Wagon wheel of Faf du Plessis's knock)
Robin Uthappa's cameo added momentum: Uthappa reserved a quickfire knock for the final, hitting 31 off 15 balls at a strike rate of 206.67, including three sixes against his old side, with whom he was associated with for multiple seasons. His 63-run brisk stand with Du Plessis set CSK up for a final flourish towards the business end of the innings. It was Narine (2/26) who once again broke that partnership by removing Uthappa.
(Wagon wheel of Robin Uthappa's knock)
Du Plessis and Moeen Ali powered CSK to 192/3: Du Plessis was involved in another half-century stand, this time with Moeen Ali, who brought out his A game with a blistering knock of 37* off 20 balls, including two fours and three sixes. The two added 68 runs for the third wicket, before Du Plessis (86 off 59 balls) was finally sent back by Shivam Mavi (1/32).
(Wagon wheel of Moeen Ali's knock)
Kolkata Knight Riders' Innings
Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill gave KKR fans a lot of hope: A 91-run opening stand between Iyer and Gill once again showed just how good the Dubai pitch was to bat on and gave KKR fans a lot of hope in what was a very challenging 193-run chase. Shardul Thakur finally broke the stand in the 11th over, dismissing Iyer for 50 off 32 balls.
(Wagon wheel of Venkatesh Iyer's knock)
Batting collapse derailed KKR innings: From 91 for no loss, KKR's promising chase turned into a sorry story, with eight wickets falling in the space of just 34 runs in 5.5 overs. Gill (51 off 43) too fell soon after reaching his half-century, followed by the next six batsmen who were dismissed for single-digit scores, including the out-of-form KKR skipper Eoin Morgan for 4. Shardul (3/38) was the pick of CSK bowlers, besides Josh Hazlewood and Ravindra Jadeja picking two wickets apiece. KKRs middle order has been their weakest point and it was exposed completely in the summit clash on Friday.
(Wagon wheel of Shubman Gill's knock)
Mavi and Lockie Ferguson tried in vain: Tailenders Mavi (20* off 13) and Ferguson (18* off 11) used the long handle to good effect, but it was a little too late in the script to change the result of the match. CSK went on to win by 27 runs to add a fourth title to their IPL fairytale. An incredible comeback by a team that was the first one to be eliminated in the 2020 season.