Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday hit rewind and fast forward as he smashed a stunning 70-run knock off just 34 balls to power Chennai Super kings to a stunning victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 match at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
Dhoni’s innings reminded people of his 2011 Word Cup heroics when he hit Nuwan Kulasekara for massive six over long-on and made India world champions.
CSK needed 16 runs in the last over and Dhoni hit a six, his seventh of the night, to see his team through after Dwayne Bravo struck and a boundary and a six.
Earlier, opener Ambati Rayudu laid the foundation with a sparkling 82 off 53 balls, hitting eight sixes and three fours.
Batting first, RCB notched up a massive 205 for eight riding on AB de Villiers 30-ball 68 and Quinton de Kock’s 53 runs. However, with Dhoni and Rayudu’s match-winning knocks, CSK chased down the target with two balls to spare.
Dhoni remained not out with seven sixes and a boundary, after adding 101 runs for the fifth wicket with Rayudu.
Chennai Super Kings were off to a bad start with Pawan Negi sending back Shane Watson with just eight runs on the board.
A 42-run partnership ensued between Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina before the experienced left-handed batsman fell for 11 in the sixth over.
Sam Billings came and went back to the dugout for the addition of just nine runs to the team total, while Ravindra Jadeja was bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal to leave CSK in a spot of bother at 74 for four.
However, Rayudu and skipper Dhoni had other ideas as the duo staged a fine recovery before bringing CSK right back into the game.
A flurry of sixes flowed from the blades of Rayudu and Dhoni as they constructed their innings keeping the required run rate in mind.
Umesh Yadav dropping a sitter to give Rayudu a life off Corey Anderson made things miserable for RCB as the batsman took full advantage of that by hitting the bowler for two successive sixes in the same over.
Before that, Pawan Negi was blasted for 19 runs with Dhoni using his strong bottom hand and power to hit two sixes, while Rayudu also got himself one maxium.
71 runs were required from the last five overs and the equation was brought down to 55 from 24 after that eventful 16th over by Anderson.
With CSK needing 45 from 18 balls, Dhoni hit a six to keep his team in the hunt, but Umesh made amends for his drop catch by running out Rayudu with a direct hit to bring another twist to the game.
Despite scoring 15 runs in the previous over, CSK needed 30 in the last two overs. CSK managed 16 off the penultimate over, thanks to some dreadful bowling by Mohammed Shiraj, who conceded two wides and a no ball. In Last over, Dhoni and Bravo finished the job with two bowls to spare.
(With inputs from agencies)