MSD has still got it
MS 'Thala' Dhoni dispensed with his critics with a fearsome show of power-hitting and finishing against Delhi Capitals in the first qualifier of IPL 2021. Dhoni has now taken his team to the final, once again. In fact, this was the 25th playoff match in MS Dhoni's IPL career – the most for a single cricketer. Suresh Raina, who didn't start tonight, has played 24 matches.
Dhoni is also set to become the first player to feature in 10 IPL finals! The fact that he achieved this incredible feat on 10th October (10/10 on the calendar) makes it all the more special!
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's appearance in the IPL final will also make him the oldest to feature at the age of 40 years and 100 days. Imran Tahir, also part of the CSK setup, was 40 years and 46 days old when he appeared in the IPL 2019 final.
The reign of Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad
Even though Faf du Plessis got out easily tonight, his opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad stayed on and took the game pretty deep. Gaikwad scored a 50-ball 70 and brought up his fifth IPL half-century this season. This makes Faf and Ruturaj the first-ever pair of openers to individually collect more than five half-centuries in a single season!
Delhi Capitals punished in the death overs
Delhi Capitals failed to keep their composure during the death overs and ended up losing the game to Chennai Super Kings. Their bowlers got their lengths completely wrong tonight. In IPL 2021, DC have been the second most expensive side at the death and have conceded runs at a rate of 10.13 runs per over.
DC skipper Rishabh Pant also gave the ball to Tom Curran in the final over instead of Kagiso Rabada. Curran has the worst economy rate in the death overs of a T20 game in 2021 in the Delhi Capitals squad (10.93 runs per over).
Six in six for CSK
In IPL 2021, Chennai Super Kings have scored over 50 runs in the Powerplay six times including tonight. They have won on all six occasions!
What's gone wrong with Kagiso Rabada this season?
Kagiso Rabada has been one of the best fast bowlers in the league for quite some time. However, he has had his fair share of struggles in IPL 2021. Rabada looks like a completely different death bowler this season.
In IPL 2019 and 2020, Rabada had picked up 17 wickets each season between overs 17 and 20. This season, he has managed just four! He also had a bowling average of 10.47 in 2019 and 10.35 in 2020. This season, it has been 35.25!
Rabada's economy rate has also gone much higher. From 8.9 and 8.95 in 2019 and 2020 to 10.85 in IPL 2021!