Former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni has turned back the time and once again proven his worth as a veteran of the sport by helping his team secure the crucial victory against Mumbai Indians by 3 wickets.
The 40-year-old has certainly not forgotten about his skill with the bat and single handedly steered his team to the finish line and reinstated his name as one of the best finishers of the game.
The MSD faithful would have been rejoiced after seeing his performance which included all of the classic Dhoni batting moments like winning the game on the very last ball with a boundary as well.
Despite of having to chase a below par score of 156 for the victory, CSK did not manage to get a stable start which saw them struggling at 16-2 after losing the wickets of Ruturaj Gaikwad (0) and Mitchell Santner (11) early in the innings. However, Robin Uthappa (30) and Ambati Rayudu (40) managed to bring some stability into CSK’s innings by stitching a partnership of 50 runs for the third wicket. It was’nt a smooth ride beyond this point as well because once the duo got out, Chennai were back in trouble as the next two batters — Shivam Dube (13) and Ravindra Jadeja (3) failed to deliver up to their expectations.
In the end, it was Dwaine Pretorius (22 off 14) and MS Dhoni (28 not out off 13) who hit some well timed shot to score some much needed runs and kept the Chennai team into the game till the very last over. CSK still needed to score 17 runs in the last over which was going to be bowled Jaydev Unadkat. Unadkat started things off in the perfect way as he got Pretorius out by LBW on the first ball itself. With Dwayne Bravo, coming to the crease, the pacer managed to take a single on the second ball and give Dhoni the strike with 16 runs needed for the win.
Unadkat did succumb to the pressure after all when he bowled in length while trying to go full and wide and ended up offering the ball in the slot for Dhoni to hit it straight out of the boundary for a six in the third ball. The left-arm pacer then tried to surprise Dhoni by taking the pace off the ball in the next delivery only to be hit by Dhoni who saw that coming to him and pulled it to the square leg fence, taking the run chase down to 6 runs off the last 2 balls.
The 40-year-old talisman who is also known for his sprinting speed managed to get a double on the next ball which meant he needed to score 4 runs off the final delivery of the match. The atmosphere in the stadium was buzzing and all eyes were on the main man who is born for moments like these. The low full toss was inevitably pulled off by MS Dhoni into the boundary and secured a memorable victory for the men in yellow by 3 wickets in the TATA IPL 2022.
Speaking in his post match interview, current CSK skipper Ravindra Jadeja said that he was pretty confident about his team securing the victory tonight all because of the presence of the ‘best finisher of the game’ on his side during the chase.
“Actually we were very tense, the way the game was going, but at some stage, we knew that the great finisher of the game was there and if he played to the last ball, he can definitely finish the match. He showed the world that he’s still here and he can finish the game,” Jadeja said during his post-match ceremony.
The thrilling victory by CSK meant that they have won two of their match till now while the Mumbai Indians are having a shocker of a season and are yet to win a single game in this season’s IPL after seven matches.
(Inputs from IANS)