Rajasthan Royals defeated Chennai Super Kings by 3 runs, despite MS Dhoni’s valiant efforts
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was captaining the Chennai Super Kings in his 200th game, came close to a remarkable victory against the Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, but it was not to be. His team lost a hard-fought contest by just 3 runs.
In the end, underrated Royals pacer Sandeep Sharma secured a few flawless block-hole deliveries to give his team a three-run triumph. It was historic Dhoni as he twisted back over the years.
When 21 was needed off the final over to reach the desired score of 176, Dhoni (32 off 17 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja (25 off 15 balls) were still on track. The final score for CSK was 172/6 as Dhoni didn’t finish his 200th game for CSK in the way he would have liked in front of more than 30,000 fans who were rooting for him.
The Punjabi seamer Sandeep appeared to lose his composure as he delivered a few wide balls before Dhoni pulled him over square leg and mid-wicket for a few sixes.
When the medium pacer had to get 6 off his final two deliveries, he got a wide yorker to Jadeja and then an excellent block-hole delivery to Dhoni, which resulted in a couple of singles.
As a result of Ravichandran Ashwin’s (2/25 in 4 overs) and Yuzvendra Chahal’s (2/27 in 4 overs) excellent bowling, Devon Conway’s 50 off 38 balls failed to generate any momentum. This was due to his scratchy approach on the tacky pitch.
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals posted a respectable 175/8 after being allowed to bat first, despite Jos Buttler’s approach, which wasn’t exactly devastating.
After 15 overs, the Royals were 135/4, but the final five overs didn’t go as well as they had hoped, with only 40 runs created and four wickets eliminated.
When Buttler smashed three massive sixes in his 36-ball-52, Ravindra Jadeja (2/21 in 4 overs) was as menacing as ever on a surface that favored the spinners. Together with Devdutt Padikkal (38 off 26 balls), who was back in his form after struggling against Punjab Kings, they had a strong 77-run second-wicket partnership.
As Padikkal and captain Sanju Samson (0) were both bowled by Jadeja in the space of three balls between overs 8 and 13, the Royals struggled.
Ashwin (30, 22 balls, 1×4, 2×6) hit two consecutive sixes off rookie left-arm pacer Akash following a period in which the Royals batters failed to record any boundaries for just over six overs.
Deshpande dealt the home team an early blow by removing the dangerous Yashasvi Jaiswal (10, 8 balls, 2×4) after captain MS Dhoni won the toss and decided to bowl. Deshpande had Shivam Dube catch Jaiswal.
Before Padikkal was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja and caught in the deep by Devon Conway, Buttler and Padikkal (38, 26 balls, 5×4) added 77 runs in 41 deliveries. After Jaiswal was prematurely dismissed, the partnership built the groundwork for the Royals.