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Dhoni,  Bravo heroics power CSK to "Vintage Thriller victory"

Monday, April 1, 2019 • Common Sport News Comments

An Unchanged Rajasthan Royals opted to bowl first at Chennai. 

The Men in Yellow gave an IPL debut cap to the Kiwi left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, Who had missed the whole 2018 season due to an injury. Harbhajan Singh was the one who had to sit out.

From being 27/3 in 4.5 overs at the point of Kedhar Jadhav's exit, Chennai super kings roared to 175/5 in 20 overs, Courtesy Dhoni's second-highest score in IPL, A 46 ball 75 with four fours and as many sixes.

In the first 3 wickets that fell, Jos Butler pouched 2 catches! One to dismiss Rayudu when Archer was bowling and then the one that saw the back of Jadhav as Kulkarni took that wicket. In the meanwhile, Stokes took the wicket of Watson for 13. Earlier, Rayudu had gone for 1 and Jadhav scored only 8 before falling as the 3rd wicket.

At that Juncture In came MS Dhoni. He stitched a 61 run stand with Suresh Raina. As Raina's wicket was got bowled by Unadkat after a fine 32 balls 36 which had four fours and a six The score was 88/4 in 13.4 overs,

Bravo had to join Dhoni for another phase of resurrection! 

With the company of Dwayne Bravo who was not wasting any time in accumulating runs, Dhoni raised the pace of his innings.When Bravo fell as Archer's second victim, He had scored 27 in 16 balls with 3 fours and a six.Dhoni had crossed his 21st IPL fifty which is his first against RR, At the time of Bravo's exit. 

With 3 sixes and a single from Dhoni, One six and single from Jadeja, Plus two wides, CSK snatched 28 runs in the final over bowled by Unadkat, In which the last three legal deliveries were smacked by Dhoni for sixes. 

The captain reached 75* and the team reached 175/5, With the last 5 overs yielding 76 runs at the rate of 15.2 runs per over.  Amidst such a catastrophic situation, Jofra Archer registered figures of 4-1-17-2.

Chasing 176 to win the game, With contributions of 0,6 and 8 from the top 3 (Rahane, Samson, and Butler ) and a 24 ball 39 from Rahul Tripathi, Rajasthan Royals were in deep trouble at 75/4 in the first ten overs. Chahar had two, While Thakur and Thahir had one each.Steve Smith struggled his way to a 30 ball 28th before getting out caught to substitute Shorey in the bowling of Imran Tahir , in the 14th over of the match 

From being 111-5 in 15 overs ,It was the heroics of Stokes (Who scored a 26 ball 46 with 1 fours and 3 sixes and got out in the first ball of the last over when the team needed 12 ) and Jofra Archer (24* (11 ) 1X4 2X6 ) ,Were the two uphill efforts that got RR tantalizingly close to what could have been a heist ! It was 56 from 24, 25, from 12 and 12 from the last 6 balls to pull off a win for RR. Yet, As Bravo dismissed Stokes and Gopal in the final over and gave away just 3 runs, CSK won a nailbiter by 8 runs to complete a hat trick of wins in this season and the first win in the season while defending a total.

Captain MS Dhoni was chosen as the man of the match.
CSK will travel to Mumbai to face Mumbai Indians on 3rd April (Wednesday), Before coming back to chepauk for back to back home games on Saturday (6th ) and Monday (8th ) vs KXIP and KKR respectively

- Kumaran Kumanan

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