CSK captain MS Dhoni in action against RR in an IPL 2023 game.© BCCI/IPL
It was more than just a last-over thriller at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Wednesday. It was MS Dhoni turning back the clock in his 200th match as Chennai Super Kings captain with his team needing him to step up. Chasing 176 against Rajasthan Royals at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Dhoni came to bat in the 16th over with CSK on 113/6. Thanks to some terrific hitting by Ravindra Jadeja and Dhoni, CSK reached 155/6 in 19 overs. They needed 21 off the last over. RR captain Sanju Samson handed the veteran Sandeep Sharma the ball in the last over.
The medium pacer conceded two wides in the first two balls as the equation came down to 19 off six balls. Then Sandeep bowled a dot ball with Dhoni on strike. And then, the vintage Dhoni was back as the CSK skipper hit two huge sixes with the equation coming down to seven needed off three balls. Dhoni took a single off the fourth delivery followed by another single by Jadeja. Dhoni was back on strike and CSK needed a six from their captain to win, but ultimately Sandeep bowled a yorker outside off and Dhoni could only take a single. CSK lost by three runs.
#MSDhoni #IPL23 #Dhoni pic.twitter.com/LrdH2gai9b
— Dharmendra Kumar(1130) (@1130Kumar) April 12, 2023
Earlier, Jos Buttler wasn’t exactly devastating in his approach but yet managed the 18th half-century of his IPL career as Rajasthan Royals posted a decent 175 for 8 after being put into bat first.
While Royals were 135 for 4 after 15 overs, the last five overs wasn’t as productive as they would have expected with only 40 runs being added and four wickets lost in the process.
Ravindra Jadeja (2/21 in 4 overs) was as usual menacing on a surface that assisted the spinners even as Buttler hit three huge sixes in his 36-ball-52. He had a good 77-run second wicket stand with Devdutt Padikkal (38 off 26 balls), who after his struggles against Punjab Kings, was back in his element.
Towards the end, Shimron Hetmyer (30 off 18 balls) was ever impressive as a finisher while Tushar Deshpande (2/37) gave only eight runs in the 20th over.
WIth PTI inputs
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