The Chennai Super Kings will face the Mumbai Indians in the 2019 Indian Premier League final after they beat the Delhi Capitals by six wickets in Friday's playoff.
The Super Kings won the toss and put their opponents into bat. Chennai then produced an excellent bowling performance, limiting Delhi to just 147 for nine; their innings was rescued by a brisk 38 from Rishabh Pant after a number of other key batsmen toiled.
In response, Faf du Plessis made 50, and then Shane Watson took the game away from Capitals when he nailed a half-century of his own. Eventually, they reached the required score with six balls to spare.
Mumbai booked their place in Sunday's final when they coasted to a six-wicket win over Chennai on Tuesday.
Top Run-Scorers - Runs (Average)
1. David Warner (SRH) - 692 (69.20)
2. KL Rahul (KXIP) - 593 (53.90)
3. Shikhar Dhawan (DC) - 521 (34.73)
4. Andre Russell (KK) - 510 (56.66)
5. Quinton de Kock (MI) - 500 (35.71)
Top Wicket-Takers - Wickets (Average)
1. Kagiso Rabada (DC) - 25 (14.72)
2. Imran Tahir (CSK) - 24 (17.00)
3. Shreyas Gopal (RR) - 20 (17.35)
4. Deepak Chahar (CSK) - 19 (24.00)
5. Khaleel Ahmed (SRH) - 19 (15.10)
Figures in full available via the IPL website.
After getting the opportunity to bat first, the Capitals would have been desperate to get a decent score on the board. However, their innings failed to get going at all.
Prithvi Shaw (5) and Shikhar Dhawan (18) failed to fire during their time at the crease, with the Chennai bowlers doing brilliantly to restrict the scoring of the openers. It was a similar story for skipper Shreyas Iyer, who was limited to 13 from 18 balls before he was ensnared by Imran Tahir.
The only time Delhi looked dangerous with the bat was when Colin Munro (27) and Pant were at the crease.
The latter was eventually key to the team putting a respectable total on the board, as he was able to smash a 25-ball 38.
Cricket journalist Ayaz Memom praised the 21-year-old's mature innings after some other senior players had toiled:
He fell in the penultimate over, with the score at 125 for eight. In the end, some surprise big hitting from bowlers Ishant Sharma and Trent Boult helped pushed the score up to 147 for nine.
From a bowling perspective, the Super Kings shone, with the nine wickets taken shared between five members of the team.
Per the CricViz Analyst, it was going to take a massive effort for the Capitals to qualify for the final:
Chennai were slow getting into their batting, with the Delhi bowling attack containing them well in the first few overs. However, with a low total on the board, the Super Kings were able to bide their time.
Du Plessis timed his innings well. Having been watchful early on, he became more aggressive in his play, eventually going to his half-century off 37 balls.
Commentator Harsha Bhogle noted the South African steps up in the big games:
When he was out, it was Watson's turn to up the ante, and he suddenly started to play his shots. The Australian nailed four sixes on his way to 50, although like Du Plessis he was unable to go any further, as he was caught after a skewed strike to the boundary.
The damage had been done by that point, though, with Chennai needing just 39 to win when Watson fell. The winning runs eventually came via the hip of Dwayne Bravo, sending the Super Kings to their eighth IPL final.