MS Dhoni (Photo/IPL twitter)
MS Dhoni (Photo/IPL twitter)

IPL 2019: CSK pulls off last-ball thriller, defeat RR by four wickets

ANI | Updated: Apr 12, 2019 08:31 IST

Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], Apr 12 (ANI): Chennai Super Kings pulled off a last-ball thriller to defeat Rajasthan Royals by four wickets here at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Thursday.
With the win, MS Dhoni has added another feather to his illustrious career, becoming the first captain to register 100 wins in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Chasing a target of 152, Dhawal Kulkarni struck Shane Watson for a duck in the very first over to keep the mood upbeat. In the next over, a direct-hit at non-striker’s end by Jofra Archer sent run-machine Suresh Raina (4) back into the hut.
Ambati Rayudu saw the falling of Faf du Plessis (7) and Kedar Jadhav (1) in quick succession before finding support in his captain MS Dhoni, with whom he built a 95-run stand to inch closer towards the victory.
However, Rajasthan tilted the tables as Ben Stokes dismissed Rayudu (57), who tried to swat it but a running Shreyas Gopal held on to the ball at square leg. With eight required off the four balls, Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja in the middle almost took Chennai home but Stokes nailed the perfect Yorker at the right time and shattered the stumps of Dhoni for 58.
Just when Rajasthan thought they would seal the match, Stokes produced a no-ball to Mitchell Santner, bringing in an angry Dhoni to argue with the umpires, who revoked it. With three required off the last ball, Santner finished off the game in style, pulling off a six off Stokes.
Earlier, put in to bat, late flourish helped Rajasthan recover from middle-over damage to post a competitive target of 151 for the loss of seven.
Openers Ajinkya Rahane and Jos Buttler could have settled in powerplay had Chennai skipper Dhoni not appealed Rahane lbw off Deepak Chahar mere nanoseconds before the DRS countdown ended. Dhoni’s cheeky decision worked in favour of the visitors, forcing Rahane to return for 14. In the very next over, Shardul Thakur struck Buttler (23), leaving Rajasthan struggle at 47/2.
Chennai bowlers spun a web around Rajasthan, taking wickets at regular intervals, including the big fish Steve Smith (15), who became Jadeja’s 100th victim in the league.
Rajasthan at 78/5 clawed back midway through the innings as Ben Stokes and the 17-year-old debutant Riyan Parag added crucial 25 runs to cross the 100-run mark before Thakur got Parag caught behind for 16, while Chahar cleaned up Stokes for 28.
Towards the end, the host fought back, snatching 18 runs off Shardul Thakur, shared between Shreyas Gopal (19*) and Archer (13*) to give some respect to the scoreboard.
Rajasthan will clash with Mumbai Indians on April 13, whereas Chennai will play against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 14.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 155/6 (MS Dhoni 58, AT Rayudu 57, BA Stokes 2-39) beat Rajasthan Royals 151/7 (BA Stokes 28, RA Jadeja 2-20, DL Chahar 2-33, SN Thakur 2-44) by four wickets. (ANI)

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