IPL 2012: Dhoni Keeps His Cool To Steer Chennai Home
Chennai Super Kings 147-3 (du Plessis 73) beat
Rajasthan Royals 146-4 (Shah 52) by 7 wickets
Indian Premier League 2012, Chennai
Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored two runs from the final ball of the match against the Rajasthan Royals to seal a seven-wicket win for his side as another Indian Premier League 2012 match went down to the wire.
This game, a repeat of the 2008 final, saw the match go the distance - as it did on that occasion but with the opposite result - as Dhoni clipped Stuart Binny for the winning runs.
The result put both sides equal on points, eight each, after having finished half of their matches. Chennai are placed third, while Rajasthan are one place ahead in second.
Owais Shah's 52 had seen the Rajasthan Royals post 146 for for before Francois du Plessis's 73 set up a frantic finale, Chennai winning their second game in a row for the first time in the tournament.
Rajasthan won the toss and elected to bat first, as they have done on most occasions previously. Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane gave them another solid start putting up 36 runs before the first wicket fell in the fifth over.
Rahane failed to get going for once, scoring only 15 off 10 balls, as R Ashwin had him caught. With the score exactly at 50, in the eighth over, Dravid was out for 26. Owais Shah was elevated in the batting order and he carried on his good work with the bat at number three.
His fifty was central to Rajasthan putting up a fighting score and he was well supported in the task by Ashok Maneria. The two were engaged in a 92-run partnership for the third wicket and were separated only in the 19th over. Maneria was out for 36 runs, scored off 34 balls, including two fours and one six.
Shah completed his third half century of the tournament, and was out for 52 off the last ball of the innings. His runs came off 43 balls, with four fours and three sixes. Rajasthan eventually ended at 146 for four as Ashwin was the most successful bowler, returning figures of one for 19 in his four overs.
Francois du Plessis and Subramaniam Badrinath set the pace for Chennai, coming up with another half-century opening stand after their century partnership the last time around.
They put on 55 runs for the first wicket when Badrinath was out for 15. du Plessis was in no mood to relent and hit his third half-century of this season. It was a blazing 73 off 52, including five fours and two sixes. Suresh Raina played a supporting role at the other end, coming up with 26 off 24 balls.
Yet through some clever bowling by Kevon Cooper and Brad Hogg, Rajasthan were able to squeeze Chennai till the end.
Dhoni (15 not out) and Dwayne Bravo (16 not out) joined forces, however, and kept their cool to score the eight runs they required to win the game from the final over.
© Cricket World 2012