Chennai Super Kings (CSK) registered a nail-biting win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur on Thursday (April 11). 

Chennai Super Kings won the toss and opted to field first. Asked to bat first, Rajasthan Royals didn’t get a flying start as they lost their openers Ajinkya Rahane and Joss Buttler within the powerplay along with Sanju Samson and managed to put up 54. However, their middle order couldn’t make a stable partnership and put up 151/7 after 20 overs.

Chasing 152, Chennai lost their opener Shane Watson for a duck and then Suresh Raina got dismissed by a direct throw. They lost Faf du Plessis and Kedar Jadhav within the powerplay while putting up only 24. However, a 95-partnership between Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni guided them for a nail-biting win.

Here are the three talking points from the game:

Dismal batting of Rajasthan’s middle-order

Put into bat, Rajasthan opener Joss Buttler started hitting boundaries and sixes from the very first over. Ajinkya Rahane too joined the party from the second over. But Deepak Chahar gave the first breakthrough to his team by picking up Rahane for 14.

On the other hand, Joss Buttler, who started hitting big shots from the very first over, got dismissed in the 4th over after hitting three consecutive boundaries off Shardul Thakur. His 10-ball 23 knock included 4 boundaries and a maximum. 

Rajasthan put up 54 runs within the powerplay. But their middle orders couldn’t capitalize after a good start. Rahul Tripathi and Steve Smith both failed to score big and got out within 11 overs. They added only 49 runs in the middle overs (7-15) and reach the 100-run mark in the 15th over.

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However, Shreyas Gopal hit two boundaries and a maximum off SN Thakur and put up 151 on board. They could have been scored a bigger total had they not lost that many wickets in the powerplay and if the middle-order could capitalize some more.

The partnership between MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu

Chasing 152, Chennai lost their opener Shane Watson for a 4-ball duck whereas Suresh Raina got dismissed by a direct throw from Jofra Archer for mere 4 in the very next over. Faf du Plessis was the next to follow them in the dugout for 7 off 10. This was not the end as in-form Kedar Jadhav also got out for mere 1 off 6. Chennai lost their four wickets within the powerplay and managed to put up only 24 runs.

The pressure fell upon Ambati Rayudu and the captain MS Dhoni. Both started to steady the ship. They reached the 50-run mark in the 10th over. They both rotated the strike and hit big shots whenever needed. They reached the 100-run mark in the 15th over by a boundary which was hit by Rayudu. With this boundary, he also completed his half-century off 41 balls. 

Their 95-run stand broke by Ben Stokes in the 18th over when he picked up Rayudu for 57 off 47, including 2 boundaries and 3 sixes. Dhoni reached his half-century in the penultimate over before getting dismissed in the final over for 58 off 43 which included 2 boundaries and 3 sixes.

The final over

Chennai required 18 runs in the final over when Ben Stokes came to bowl the last over. With the set batsman Dhoni at the crease along with Jadeja, it was looking not a difficult task for them as Dhoni is considered one of the best finishers in the world cricket.

However, Jadeja faced the first ball and smashed a maximum over the bowler’s head. The second one was a no-ball which brought Dhoni at the strike. Two runs came from the next ball. 

Eight runs were needed off four balls when Stokes bowled Dhoni which left everyone in shock. But that was not the end as the on-field umpire almost declared the fourth delivery as a no-ball as it has a waist height but the leg umpire didn’t approve it. That made Dhoni angry, he started walking on the field and started arguing with the umpires as well. However, the umpire declared it a normal ball where they needed 8 runs off the final 3 deliveries.

Two runs came from the fifth ball while the final ball became wide. Stoke had to bowl another delivery which went for a maximum. Mitchell Santner hit it down the ground which cleared the boundary rope and the game ended in Chennai’s favor. They won the nail-biting game by 4 wickets.

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