It was a day for Mahendra Singh Dhoni. It was a day for Chennai Super Kings. Despite a brilliant batting performance by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, it was brilliant knocks from Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni which sealed a memorable match for Chennai. The skipper remained unbeaten on 70 of just 34 deliveries. His innings was studded with a four and 7 sixes.
It was the vintage Dhoni on display. From the outset, he went hammers and tongs and treated the crowd to some electrifying strokeplay. Earlier in the day, it was a dev Villiers special which propelled Bangalore to a score of 204 in their allotted 20 overs. Despite Chennai starting off badly, Dhoni and Raydu made sure that they reached the target in the end with a couple of deliveries to spare.
It was Chennai Super Kings Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who won the toss and put the hosts in. Skipper Virat Kohli and Quinton de Kock began proceedings. Both the batsmen began well by smashing a couple of exquisite shots before Kohli had to head back to the pavilion. It was Shardul Thakur who provided the all-important breakthrough for the visitors.
From there on it as an exhibition of strokeplay by AB de Villiers which really blew away the Chennai bowlers. He struck some audacious shots. De Kock and de Villiers shared a big partnership of 103 runs which was one of the main reasons behind Bangalore reaching a total of 204. De Kock struck a four and four sixes during his knock of 53.
Dwayne Bravo brought about his downfall as he bamboozled him with a well directed slower delivery. The bowler completed a straightforward return catch. AB de Villiers was dismissed soon after as his countrymen Imran Tahir foxed him with a well-flighted delivery. Corey Anderson was dismissed in the very next delivery as Tahir lured him into a drive and the southpaw gave a simple catch to slip fielder Harbhajan Singh.
Chasing a huge total, Chennai didn’t really begin the way they would have wanted. It was Pawan Negi who ended the resistance of Shane Watson in the very first over. However, Ambati Rayudu looked in supreme touch and struck some delightful shots. Raina on the other hand also got off to a fluent start smashing a couple of deliveries. However, he was dismissed by Umesh Yadav after the score reached 50.
Sam Billings and Ravindra Jadeja couldn’t make a mark either as both were dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal. The leg-spinner bowled brilliantly and never allowed Chennai to go after his flighted deliveries. He bagged a couple of wickets for just 26 runs in his 4 over spell. It was special given the fact that both teams made over 200.
From there on it was a sensational partnership between skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu which turned the match on its head. Rayudu struck some terrific shots. However, it was Dhoni who gave the much-needed impetus with some exceptional blows. He began with a six in the 2nd delivery he faced from Pawan Negi.
He smashed one more in the very next over of Corey Anderson and subsequently smashed Negi for two more sixes in the very next over. Rayudu then smashed a couple of lusty blows to bring the calculation down to 31 of 13. However, he was dismissed run out for the 3rd time in the tournament. It was a sensational direct hit from Umesh Yadav from the boundary which sent him back to the pavilion.
Dhoni was joined by Dwayne Bravo on the other end. However, Dhoni was still the main man. Mohammed Sirja bowled a horrendous 19th over where he conceded 14 runs and gave away 3 wides. The sliced six from Dhoni was simply out of the world.
The final over was handed over to Corey Anderson. However, Bravo got an outside edge which went flying over the keeper for a boundary. He smashed a six over the extra cover region in the very next delivery. The 3rd delivery was a single and it was left to Dhoni to finish off the job. The skipper shuffled across the leg stump and smashed a huge six to dash the hopes of Bangalore.
Royal Challengers Bangalore 205/8 in 20 overs (AB de Villiers 68, Quinton de Kock 53, Dwayne Bravo 2/33)
Chennai Super Kings 207/5 in 19.4 overs (Ambati Rayudu 81, MS Dhoni 70*, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/26)
Chennai Super Kings won by 5 wickets (with a couple of deliveries to spare)