Dhoni, the finisher, takes Chennai over the line past Rajasthan
Chennai 149-5 (19.4 ov)
Toss: Rajasthan, chose to bat
Rajasthan: Watson 51, Ankit 30; Mohit 3-31, Jadeja 2-18
Chennai: Smith 44, Du Plessis 38, Dhoni 26 n.o; Ankit 2-20
Man of the match: Ravindra Jadeja (Chennai)
MS Dhoni once again brought his finishing skills to the forefront as Chennai Super Kings pulled themselves out of a spot of bother against Rajasthan Royals in Ranchi.
The bowlers did well to restrict Rajasthan to 141 for seven, after they were 84 for one in 10 overs. Chennai also seemed to lose their way towards the business end of their chase but captain Dhoni kept calm, not for the first time, in his unbeaten knock of 22 in 16 balls to take his team past the finish line with two balls to spare.
Rajasthan, having made three changes to their side, opened the innings with Shane Watson and Ankit Sharma, debuting for the franchise, and it proved to be a masterstroke as the pair put on 60 runs in eight overs.
Ankit took a particular liking to Ravichandran Ashwin, hitting him for 18 runs in eight balls but the bowler had the last laugh when he had him caught at long-on to provide the breakthrough.
The onus was on Watson to bat deep into the innings and he seemed set for it as he swatted a full toss from Mohit Sharma over fine-leg to reach to his fifty. However, he missed the line of the next delivery and lost his middle stump.
Mohit and Ravindra Jadeja rose to the occasion after that as Chennai conceded only 64 runs and picked up seven wickets in the last ten overs and clawed their way back into the game in clinical fashion.
Aware that the pitch would slow down rapidly, Chennai started their chase in a hurried manner. The ploy backfired initially as Brendon McCullum and Suresh Raina fell to Ankit caught off sweep shots.
Dwayne Smith opened his account with two straight sixes off Faulkner, and found an ally in Faf du Plessis, with whom he attacked the spinners to add 35 runs.
When they left, Chennai needed 28 runs in 15 balls at that stage. That was cue for Dhoni as the captain finished off the job promptly.
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Published: May 13, 2014 04:00 AM