Wow! The 39th game of the intriguing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 expedition between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) was surely one of the most incredible classics in the history of the tournament. The momentum changed ends quite frequently in the thrilling encounter which went down the wire with the Virat Kohli-led team running away with an astonishing 1-run victory off just the last ball.
In the first innings, Parthiv Patel compiled a solid fifty to provide RCB with a great foundation at the top. But then the CSK bowling trio of Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja bowled amazingly well to pull things back and in turn restricted RCB to 161for 7.
Defending a stiff total, Dale Steyn got RCB off to a scintillating start by picking two big wickets pretty early in the run-chase. Umesh Yadav also joined his partner in the damage, removing both Faf du Plessis and Kedar Jadhav to leave CSK in a miserable state at 28 for 4.
However, the duo of MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu then led their team to some sort of respite. But in the end, it was again the same site as MS Dhoni was left strangled in yet another run-chase. Dhoni, however, as he usually does, saved his very best for the last. While requiring 26 runs off the final over, the CSK skipper took Umesh on remand, blasting him for three gigantic sixes, crisp boundary and a double, to bring down the equation to, two runs needed off the final ball. If everybody thought that the drama was over, Shardul Thakur felt short of his crease while completing a single off the last ball which in turn handed RCB an unbelievable win. Dhoni remained unbeaten after playing a staggering knock of 84 runs off just 48 balls which consisted of 5 fours and 7 sixes.
I could afford to take the risk
After Rayudu's dismissal, Dhoni surprisingly hesitated to rotate the strike which also resulted in Jadeja being involved in a run-out dismissal and that was a big turning point in the match as well. However, while defending himself Dhoni said, "Since I have played so many deliveries, I can afford to take that risk, because a lot of runs were needed. I think 10 or 12 deliveries, we needed some close to 40 runs or 36 runs or something like that, which meant a lot of boundaries were needed.”
The CSK skipper reckoned that it was very important to assess the situation of the game and bring in the calculators out. He noted that in matters like these, it is always easy to criticize the refused runs, but it is also equally crucial to ensure that the game is not hovered in the middle phase.
"So yes, right now you can calculate, two runs over there, one run over there, and we are through, because we lost by one run, but at the same time what you have to see is what if there were a few dot balls, whether we could have got those extra boundaries or not," he added.
Dhoni also admitted that things did become difficult at the end. "It was still difficult at the end. It was slightly spongy (the pitch) and the new batsmen found it difficult. Boundaries were needed and yes we have lost by one run but at the same time we have to see what if there were few dot balls and whether we could have got those extra boundaries or not," Dhoni concluded.