faf du plessis

Faf Du Plessis of the Chennai Super Kings attempts to take a catch during the Indian Premier League IPL Qualifier Final match between the Delhi Capitals and the Chennai Super Kings at ACA-VDCA Stadium on May 10 in Visakhapatnam. (Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

VISHAKHAPATNAM (AP) — Half centuries by Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson led Chennai Super Kings to their eighth Indian Premier League final with a convincing six-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals on Friday.

Du Plessis and Watson both scored 50 runs each as Chennai romped to 151-4 in 19 overs. Delhi had earlier struggled to reach 147-9 after Chennai skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to field.

Chennai will meet Mumbai Indians in the final May 12.

“It’s the usual route, last year was the exception. The kind of response from the boys today was brilliant. The way we batted to get 140-plus runs was very nice,” Dhoni said.

“The crucial part was to keep getting wickets. The credit needs to go to the bowlers. Thanks to the bowling department for where we are this season.”

Du Plessis hit seven fours and a six in his 12th IPL fifty and combined for an 81-run opening wicket stand with Watson, who was equally splendid with four sixes and three boundaries.

Delhi’s fast bowler Keemo Paul was smashed for 49 runs off his three overs without taking a wicket.

Du Plessis holed out in the deep in the 11th over off Trent Boult and Watson departed in the 13th over when his inside-out shot off leg spinner Amit Mishra found Boult.

Earlier, Delhi never got going once they lost openers Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan inside the first six overs of a batting power play.

Chennai’s spin trio of Ravindra Jadeja (2-23), Harbhajan Singh (2-31) and Imran Tahir (1-28) struck with regular intervals and seamer Deepak Chahar took 2-28.

Rishabh Pant, whose electrifying 49 against helped Delhi eliminate Hyderabad two days ago, was top scorer with 38.

“We had a disappointing start, losing two wickets in the power play, and it was hard to recover from that,” said Delhi captain Shreyas Iyer, who could score only 13.

“None of the batsmen took the initiative to take the team through and there wasn’t a partnership building. Disappointing for us but a good learning.”

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