Well if you have believed as IPL to be the World’s Best Cricketing League, the past 4 evenings, including last night’s RR vs CSK thriller, have given you enough proof to substantialize that. It isn’t a gospel just about RR’s Victory last night, but it is about the sentiment of fans expecting yet another Magical Innings from Thala MS Dhoni, which came so close, yet remained so far. Well the story can’t be of a perfect Comeback as the Super Kings of Chennai lacked 3 runs from their 4th victory, but the spinners definitely had a toll over the batsmen.

Butler gets another Half ton, Padikkal and Hetmyer’s knocks take RR to 175 for loss of 8 Wickets 

Following the early dismissal of Jaiswal, Padikkal, who was back in the line-up, played some fluid shots to help the Royals gain traction before Jos Buttler came in to take on the spinners and specifically target Theekshana, who was hammered for 27 in two power play overs. The Royals were well on their way to a sizable total when Buttler completely destroyed his England teammate Moeen Ali after the powerplay, blasting him for three sixes in an over. When Moeen Ali wasn’t having the best of days, he continued to miss a run-out and drop a catch.

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It had to take place. If not Moeen, it was Jadeja who abruptly ended everything. The seasoned spinner brought in his India spin-twin, Ravichandran Ashwin, who was later replaced by Moeen Ali, after picking up Devdutt Padikkal and Sanju Samson in the same over. Even though Ashwin overcame his difficulties by blasting Akash Singh for two sixes and then holed out to mid-off later in the same over, the spin strangle was undoubtedly working against him. Buttler had survived everything, so there was a chance that he would lose his mind at the very last moment.

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Moeen Ali, who had been destroyed earlier in the day by Buttler, partially atoned for his actions by ending Buttler’s innings by bowling him out before he could unleash his fury at the end. The scoring rate was slowed down by wickets falling at the other end, but Shimron Hetmyer delivered a couple lusty blows to push the Royals to 175-8.

Dhoni and Jadeja fight back to a magical innings, fall short of 3 runs

The early dismissal of the effective Gaikwad had to be cause for concern, but that’s just not how CSK rolls. Rahane and Conway established the framework while moving at 7.5 rpo in the powerplay, despite falling behind the required rate. The needed rate always exceeded the present rate, making it challenging for the pair to increase the pressure. They also frequently had trouble locating the boundary.

Image Source: ESPN Cricinfo

It was always going to be the spinners from CSK vs. the spinners from RR. The decision to fire Ajinkya Rahane, who Ashwin had trapped in front of him while sweeping, was the catalyst. Conway and Dube joined Conway at the wicket, where they both appeared less than comfortable. In the 12th over, the needed rate reached 10 runs per over. 

However, the Royals’ expert spin bowling in the following three overs caused a spectacular middle-order collapse, resulting in a collapse that read 5-35 and saw the removal of Rahane, Dube, Moeen, Rayudu, and Conway. As a result, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja entered the field of play.

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CSK needed 63 from 30. Spinners were everywhere. The CSK No. 8 hit his 200th match as the franchise captain. The experienced duo played with the Spinners and reached 40 in the last 2 overs.  

 And then it happened.  Jadeja targeted Jason Holder and hit him with two sixes and a four for 19 runs in what set up a classic MS Dhoni final. Sandeep Sharma was caged for 21 in the final with Dhoni and the pressure certainly got to the seamer as he smashed two. After hitting a required yorker on 19 from 5, MS Dhoni picked two low full tosses (a yorker attempt) and dispatched them for six to make it 7 for 3. 

Image Source: NDTV Sports 

That’s when Sharma pulled himself together and bowled three inches perfectly. cornering the Yorkers and ended the game by surviving the last Dhoni scare. In the process, he rose to the top of the table but denied the home crowd a fairytale ending in MS Dhoni’s 200th match as CSK captain.

A First Year student at National Law University Delhi, Rishaan is someone who is a an avid reader owns a great interest in the field of Sports and Defence. Being connected to the Defence due to his schooling, he has a very broadened and unique perspective of the Defence world, but at the same time has a talent to reach out to the audience.

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