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Amidst The Final Over Drama, Santner’s Nerves Of Steel, Dhoni And Rayudu’s Fifties Power CSK To A Thrilling Win

In the 25th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 expedition, MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) marched off with a spectacular 4-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. For the second day in a row, IPL 2019 witnessed a blockbuster thrilling encounter which again went down the wire with CSK all-rounder Mitchell Santner smoking an insane strike to steer his team to a prolific victory off just the last ball.  In the first innings, the CSK bowlers displayed sensational combined efforts to restrict the home team within a modest total. But in the run-chase, RR got off to a fantastic start by picking four quick wickets at the top.

The CSK experienced duo of MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu then came to the rescual with a brilliant 95-run stand to advance their team in the chase. But the game saw another twist in tail as MS Dhoni got dismissed on the third ball off the final over and left behind a daunting task for Mitchell Santner. The final over drama never ended there as people got to witness a totally unlike thing from Dhoni as he strangely came out in the middle to discuss the clarity over a no-ball confusion.

The straight umpire declared a no-ball, while the leg umpire did not, which invited the whole confusion. Even After Dhoni’s intervention, the straight umpire never changed his decision and the no-ball was still not declared.   However, the Kiwi spin bowling all-rounder then showed nerves of steel, blasting Stokes for a terrific six off the final delivery to power CSK to a splendid win.

CSK bowlers combined efforts limits RR after an explosive start

CSK skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl first as he reckoned that defending the total is a mighty task on this wicket. The RR opening duo comprising of skipper Ajinkya Rahane and wicket-keeper Jos Buttler got their team off to blazing start, smashing an explosive tally of 31 runs in only 2.5 overs. However, after a poor start, CSK fast bowling pair of Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur then came back strongly to send both the openers back in the pavilion and in turn putting on the brakes on the scoring rate. The spin duo of Mitchell Santner and Ravindra Jadeja too joined the party, dismissing the likes of Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson and Steven Smith cheaply and in turn left the hosts reeling at 78 for 5.

After the top-order and middle muddle surrenders, the RR batting pair of Ben Stokes and Riyan Parag then tried to steady the innings and lead the home team to some sort of respite. But they too perished at the hands of some great CSK bowling effort. However, in the end, Jofra Archer and Shreyas Gopal added some crucial runs in quick time to take RR towards a competitive total of 151 runs. For CSK, the trio of Chahar, Jadeja and Thakur bowled amazingly well to pick up two wickets each.

Dhoni and Rayudu’s flamboyance advance CSK in the chase

Chasing a stiff target of 152 runs, CSK got off to a horrible opening start, losing four wickets at the top in quick time with just 24 runs on the board. First it was Shane Watson who fell prey to peach of a delivery bowled by Dhawal Kulkarni, while Suresh Raina then threw his wicket away in a run-out dismissal. Jaydev Unadkat too inflicted his name in the wickets column, claiming the wicket of an in-form Faf du Plessis, whereas Kedar Jadhav lost his wicket due to Ben Stokes’ brilliant effort in the outfield. After those early jitters, CSK skipper MS Dhoni joined hands with Ambati Rayudu to resurrect the innings out of troublesome position.

Both the experienced batsmen batted very much sensibly and took some calculative risks as well to steady the CSK innings. Rayudu scratched off his poor run thus far in the season, notching up a fighting fifty under some immense pressure. He scored a significant knock of 57 runs which included three sixes and two fours, before falling victim to Stokes in the 18th over and his wicket also brought an end to a remarkable 95-run partnership. However, Dhoni still kept his team in the game with an excellent half-century innings.

But towards the end came a massive turning point in the game as Dhoni lost his wicket off the third ball of the final over with CSK still requiring 8 runs to win the match. However, CSK all-rounder Mitchell Santner then held his nerves sensationally well to guide his team towards a phenomenal victory.

Brief Scores:

RR: 151/7 in 20 overs (Ben Stokes-28, Jos Buttler-23; Ravindra Jadeja 2/20, Deepak Chahar 2/33)

CSK: 155/6 in 20 overs (MS Dhoni-58, Ambati Rayudu-57; Ben Stokes 2/39)

Result: Chennai Super Kings won the match by 4 wickets.