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Indian T20 League 2021, Final – Team Chennai vs Team Kolkata Talking Points

Team Chennai were superb in the final and they won their fourth title in the Indian T20 League. There were some moments where they were under pressure but overall, it was a clinical performance from Team Chennai.

The MS Dhoni-led were superb with the bat as they smashed 192/3. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis laid the foundation and the latter carried his bat through as he scored 86. Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali chipped in beautifully as well as the Kolkata bowlers struggled to contain and keep a check on the scoring rate.

In reply, Kolkata started off very well as well as they raced away to 88/0 in their first 10 overs. But the Chennai bowlers came back superbly and wrapped the game quite comfortably. After the opening partnership, Kolkata’s innings fell off and they got to just 165/9 and Chennai won by 27 runs.

Here are the talking points of the game:

Faf du Plessis carries Team Chennai throughout the innings

It has been Team Chennai’s top-order and the opening pair that has been the driving force in the batting department for them. And it stood up for them once again. Ruturaj Gaikwad took the initiative in the powerplay and raced away to 26 off 19 deliveries before he was dismissed for 32. But the opening stand was worth 61 which laid the platform.

Faf du Plessis played second fiddle in that opening partnership and was on 27 off 23 balls when Gaikwad was dismissed. But once the 24-year-old opener got out, du Plessis took charge and batted beautifully throughout the innings. The South African veteran reached his half-century in just 35 balls and kept the foot on the accelerator. He got boundaries consistently and at regular intervals. He saw off the likes of Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy and took on the quicker bowlers.

Du Plessis batted through the innings and scored 86. His 59-ball knock included seven fours and three sixes as he anchored the innings superbly. He fell just two runs short of winning the Orange Cap but the 86 was a top knock.

Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali contribute with vital cameos

Team Chennai got the platform as the opening pair added 61 in eight overs. However, they needed to build on it. While du Plessis batted through and was anchoring the innings beautifully, the likes of Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali came in and kept up the tempo.

Uthappa walked out and smoked three sixes in his 15-ball cameo. He scored 31 as he shared a solid 63-run stand for the second wicket alongside du Plessis. It was this partnership that upped the ante for Team Chennai. Moeen Ali came in and continued in the same vein. The England left-hander smashed 37 off 20 balls which included two fours and three sixes. He added 68 runs for the third wicket with du Plessis. Those 30s from Uthappa and Ali played a crucial role in helping the MS Dhoni-led side get to 192/3.

Sunil Narine, the sole standout bowler for Team Kolkata

Most of the Team Kolkata bowlers travelled the distance. Barring Sunil Narine, every other bowler had an economy rate in excess of 8. Venkatesh Iyer bowled just one over for five runs. It was Narine who gave Kolkata vital breakthroughs throughout his spell and was economical as well.

The West Indian mystery spinner was the one who broke the opening stand. He had Gaikwad holing out at long-off in his second over. In his third over, Uthappa was dropped off his bowling before he finally dismissed the Karnataka lad LBW in his final over. Narine finished with figures of 4-0-26-2 and he was Kolkata’s best bowler.

Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer set the platform upfront for Team Kolkata

193 was never going to be an easy run-chase and add to that the pressure of the final. But the Kolkata openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer batted excellently in the first 10 overs and laid the platform for their side. It was Iyer who took charge and was the aggressor throughout that stand.

The left-handed opener was dropped on zero by MS Dhoni who split a regulation chance. And he made the most of the life. He blazed away to 31 off 18 deliveries in the powerplay as Kolkata raced away to 55/0. Gill played second fiddle and got 22 off 18 balls. Once the field restrictions were lifted, Iyer kept going as well and attacked the left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. Gill tried upping the ante as well.

Iyer got to his half-century and it came in just 31 balls and Kolkata reached 88/0 in 10 overs. Gill was batting solidly as well. But once Iyer was dismissed, everything fell apart for Team Kolkata. Gill reached his half-century as well but couldn’t really kick on and bat through.

Dwayne Bravo’s eight-run spell in two overs and Shardul Thakur’s double-wicket turns the game

Team Chennai didn’t have a great powerplay with the ball. Kolkata were off to a flier as they got 55 without losing a wicket. However, MS Dhoni who usually uses Dwayne Bravo in the second half of the innings, got the West Indian all-rounder right after the powerplay. The experienced campaigner bowled a two-over spell and conceded just eight runs which sucked quite a bit of momentum.  

Shardul Thakur made full use of those two tight overs from Bravo. He picked up two wickets in the 11th over of the innings. Thakur broke the opening stand as he had Iyer holing out at deep cover where Jadeja took an excellent catch. A couple of balls later, he dismissed Nitish Rana to completely turn the game in Chennai’s favour.

From then on, Kolkata just couldn’t get going and kept losing wickets regularly. Eventually, they lost their last nine wickets for 74 runs and they slumped to 27-run defeat.

Also Read; Who is the owner of Chennai Super Kings in 2021?


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