Chennai Super Kings had made a bad start against Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2019 encounter at the MA Chidambaram stadium on Sunday. MS Dhoni arrived with the score on 27/3 and rebuilt the innings with a 61-run stand with Suresh Raina. The departure of Raina did not slow the innings down and Dhoni, along with Dwayne Bravo, accelerated in the death overs to push Chennai Super Kings to a big total. Dhoni ended the innings in grand style by blasting three sixes in the last over bowled by Jaydev Unadkat and his unbeaten 75 helped Chennai Super Kings reach 175/5. In response, Chennai Super Kings bowlers battled the dew but they held firm to secure an eight-run win and register their third straight win in IPL 2019 to stay on top of the table.
"We wanted to get a partnership going - that was needed. We knew there was some dew on the field. We knew it would get easier as the game progresses. We bat quite deep - until 9 and knew we could accelerate in the last few overs," said Dhoni at the post-match presentation.
The eight-run was significant for the fact that Dhoni once again showed admirable leadership qualities in tough conditions. Imran Tahir, who picked up the big wickets of Rahul Tripathi (39) and Steve Smith (28) to end with figures of 4-0-23-2, said Dhoni as captain is simply 'unreal'.
"The way he carries himself is just unreal. He won't say much but he knows how to lift the team up. He is a great leader and a great human being. You know Dhoni plays really well in these situations because like (Dwayne) Bravo he's done this so many times, and that's why he's called Mr Cool. He works hard on his game plan. Even in practice sessions, he helps his team-mates. And we respect that. I think as a bowling group we did really well. Even while batting, Mahi bhai played unbelievably well and set the tone for us. I'm just really happy with whatever we did as a team," Tahir said in the post-match press conference.
Chennai Super Kings next face a massive match against three-time champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede stadium while for Rajasthan Royals, they will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore who have suffered three losses.