Chasing Delhi's score of 172/5, the Chennai outfit reached the target with two balls to spare. The three-time champions needed 13 runs to win from the last six balls and Dhoni saw them through despite losing Moeen Ali on the first ball of the final over.
Dhoni reflected on his innings after the match and said he wasn't thinking much during his stay at the crease. Before the Qualifier, Dhoni had managed to notch up just 96 runs in 14 games in the ongoing IPL edition.
"My innings was a crucial one. Delhi has a very good bowling attack. They exploited the conditions well, so we knew it would be tough. I've not done a lot in the tournament, so wanted to look for the ball and see what the bowler can do. I was batting well in the nets. But wasn't thinking too much, if you think too much while batting then you mess your plans up," he said in the post-match presentation.
Dhoni also heaped praise on individuals who have marshalled his side's batting attack this season. "Shardul has done decent batting, as has Deepak. He/they are allowed to go for the shots from first ball unlike other top-order batters. Robin enjoys batting at the top but Moeen has been excellent at No. 3. But we have created a situation where either of them could bat at No. 3 depending on the situation and the opposition," he further said.
Apart from Dhoni, Robin Uthappa (63 off 44 balls) turned the clock back to his heydays while irresistible Ruturaj Gaikwad (70 off 50 balls) continued his rich vein of form.
"Its good to see how well Ruturaj has improved. He is someone willing to bat 20 overs. Last season was the first time we didnt qualify into playoffs. But we wanted to just make use of the 3-4 games left last season, and a lot of our batters made use of that. That is the reason why we have come back strongly this season," Dhoni signed off.
Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant, on the other hand, stressed on rectifying mistakes and deliver in the second Qualifier for making it to the final.
"Obviously it is very disappointing, and I can't have enough words to describe how we are feeling. The score was decent, and they got off to a flier. That was the main difference. We are going to rectify our mistakes, learn from it and hopefully, we can move on and play the final," he said.