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Chennai thump Delhi to march into IPL final

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FAF du Plessis was named the man of the match for his half century. Photo: Twitter

Visakhapatnam: All-round Chennai Super Kings rode half centuries from Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson to storm into their eighth Indian Premier League (IPL) final as they beat Delhi Capitals by six wickets in the Qualifier 2 at the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here on Friday.

After asking Delhi to bat first, Chennai bowlers put up a superb show to restrict the first time semi-finalists to 147/9.

Chasing a modest 148 for victory, openers du Plessis (50; 39 balls; 7×4; 1×6) and Watson (50; 32 balls 3×4; 4×6) were off to a slow start but recovered in time to share a 81-run stand for the opening wicket.

South Africa captain du Plessis was the aggressor early on and once he got out, Watson took over as Delhi bowlers looked hapless.

Having notched up his his 12th IPL fifty and fourth this season, du Plessis mistimed a pull to Keemo Paul at deep square leg off Trent Boult’s bowling while Amit Mishra had Watson caught by Boult at wide long-off.

Suresh Raina (11) was castled by Axar Patel, bringing skipper M.S. Dhoni to the crease. With 21 needed off 24 balls, it was a cakewalk for the defending champions, although Dhoni (9) got out with two runs required for victory.

Dwayne Bravo was at the crease as the yellow army crossed the target with four leg byes with Ambati Rayudu (20 not out) at the other end and an over to spare. Chennai posted 151/4 in 19 overs.

Chennai will now take on old foes Mumbai Indians in the final in Hyderabad on Sunday, the fourth time the two teams will be locking horns in the summit clash.

Earlier, Harbhajan Singh (2/31) and Bravo (2/19) used their reservoir of experience to good affect while Deepak Chahar (2/28) continued his rich form with the ball as Delhi never got going despite having Rishabh Pant at the crease for more than an hour.

Ravindra Jadeja (2/23) and Imran Tahir (1/28), their best bowler this season, also returned impressive figures.