Order restored: Dhoni clobbers last-ball six, Chennai Super Kings become table toppers again
Chennai Super Kings (207-5) defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore (205-8) by 5 wickets in the battle of the batters which guaranteed to raise some heartbeats.
No matter how much you see it, you can’t get enough of this spectacle. Winning runs required, Dhoni on strike and boom! here she rockets for a six.
On a slightly damp Chinnaswamy pitch, CSK got lucky with the coin-flip and invited RCB batsmen to take the field. Skipper Virat Kohli (18) came out to open the batting with keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock. At 35 for no loss in the first 4 overs, RCB were going well before Kohli mistimed a delivery from Shardul Thakur (4-46-2) which was well pouched by Ravi Jadeja at long on.
It was then time for the AB de Villers show. Picking up from where he had left in the last game, the superman struck the ball sweetly and got stuck in to Harbhajan’s (2-24-0) 2nd over, clobbering a four and a couple of sixes. With momentum on his side, there was no stopping ABD as he raced through to a 103-run partnership with fellow South African de Kock.
With all CSK bowlers taking sound beating, MSD threw the ball to his trump card Dwayne Bravo (4-33-2) who did not disappoint and dismissed de Kock (53) with a caught and bowled. ABD showed some more fireworks before miscuing a short one from Imran Tahir (4-35-2) which was caught by Sam Billings in the deep.
After the departure of de Villers (68, SR: 226.66), Mandeep Singh tried not to let the momentum slip from RCB’s grasp with a 17 ball 32, taking Bangalore over 200.
The target was certainly a stiff one to begin with but the kind of team CSK are, none ruled out the possibility of a potential chase. After the early departure of Shane Watson (7), Rayudu punished the RCB bowlers to all parts of the park but failed to garner support from other batsmen. The middle order trio of Suresh Raina (11), Sam Billings (9) and Ravi Jadeja (3) departed in quick succession and with the score at 72-4. It was then time for MS Dhoni to take guard.
Under mounting scoreboard pressure, Dhoni saw off the overs of Yuzi Chahal (4-26-2) – who looked the most threatening of the RCB bowlers – and Umesh Yadav(4-23-1).
Once, Mohammad Siraj, Pawan Negi and Corey Anderson came in to bowl, the duo of Rayudu and Dhoni cut lose.
This Is 3rd Time #RCB Bowlers Have Been Smoked For 200+ In 6 Matches They've Played In #IPL2018 So Far. Virat Kohli Needs To Stop Listening To His Bowling Coach Ashish Nehra. #RCBvCSK #WhistlePodu #Dhoni pic.twitter.com/k40mYJoYFU— Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) April 25, 2018
When the chase began to look under control, Rayudu got run out for the third time in this tournament after a brilliant 82-run hand.
MSD kept going about his business with Dwayne Bravo at the crease. With 14 required off the last over, Bravo eased out the equation with a four and a six on the first two balls of the over.
Then MSD did what he does best. He tonked one off Corey Anderson (3.4-58-0) over the long on boundary and sealed the game for CSK.
MS Dhoni was adjudged the Man of the Match and Ambati Rayudu bagged the Purple Cap. This game would be remembered in IPL history as the match in which the maximum sixes were hit.
© Cricket World 2018