Faf du Plessis stands before the Indian Premier League trophy after helping Chennai Super Kings claim a fourth title on Friday. Photo: @ChennaiIPL/Twitter
Faf du Plessis stands before the Indian Premier League trophy after helping Chennai Super Kings claim a fourth title on Friday. Photo: @ChennaiIPL/Twitter

Faf du Plessis powers Chennai Super Kings to fourth Indian Premier League title

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Oct 15, 2021

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Cape Town – The Proteas may be left to rue not picking Faf du Plessis for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup after the former national captain fired the Chennai Super Kings to the Indian Premier League title in Dubai on Friday evening.

Du Plessis smashed 86 off just 59 balls (7x4, 3x6) to power the Super Kings to 192/3 in the final against the Kolkata Knight Riders. England’s Moeen Ali (37 not out off 20 balls), former India T20 World Cup winner Robin Uthappa (31 off 15 balls) and the tournament’s leading run-scorer Ruturaj Gaikwad (32 off 27 balls) also chipped in.

Despite the Knight Riders enjoying a 91-run opening stand between Venkatesh Iyer (50 off 32 balls) and Shubnam Gill (51 off 43 balls), Eoin Morgan’s team lost their way during the middle period and were restricted to 165/9.

Du Plessis’ omission from the Proteas T20 squad for the T20 World Cup that will be held at the same venues as the IPL caused an uproar in South Africa a month ago, especially due to the fact the 37-year-old remains one of the premier T20 batters in the world.

Cricket SA Director Graeme Smith explained that they had been in contact, but they could not reach an agreement with Du Plessis, who now operates as a T20 “free agent”.

“When you are working with free agents you have to come together. You have to find that balance that works for both the team and the free agents,” said Smith. “With Faf in particular we struggled to find that balance.”

Du Plessis’ consistency during this past IPL was impeccable, especially considering that the first half of the tournament was played in India before being forced to move to the UAE.

Du Plessis finished the 16-game tournament with 633 runs – just two runs shy of Gaikwad – at an average of 45.21. His strike rate of 138.20 was equally impressive. Du Plessis retired from Test cricket in 2020, but had indicated that remained available to play all forms of white-ball cricket for the Proteas.

@ZaahierAdams

IOL Sport

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