CSK vs MI: MS Dhoni emerged as the hero in yet another thrilling CSK-MI drama, as he earned a late, final-over victory to extend Mumbai Indians’ losing skid in IPL 2022 to seven games.
Dhoni finished with an unbeaten 28 off 13 balls, 16 of which came off the final four balls of the run chase, putting an end to MI’s dreams of a first-innings victory.
With 16 balls to go, Jaydev Unadkat dismissed Dwaine Pretorius on the first ball, and Dwayne Bravo handed the strike to Dhoni on the second.
Unadkat made a length error while attempting to go full and wide, resulting in a ball in the slot that Dhoni struck for a straight six.
On the next delivery, the left-arm pacer picked up the pace and went short, but Dhoni anticipated this and camped back, pulling it to the square leg barrier, reducing the chase to 6 off 2 balls.
Dhoni finished it off with a whip of the wrists on a low full ball that beat the short fine leg fielder to the fence.
Ruturaj Gaikwad chopped the first ball of the innings to point, Mitchell Santner was out in the third over, and Ambati Rayudu’s first runs were a couple of sixes off Daniel Sams and Jasprit Bumrah.
In the PowerPlay, CSK reached 38 for 2 after Robin Uthappa settled them down with a couple of fours.
Neither team could acquire a complete hold on the game, which was entertaining.
Uthappa attempted a post-PP comeback by hitting rookie Hrithik Shokeen for six, but Unadkat returned in the ninth over to dismiss the opener with a well-timed off-cutter that Uthappa drove to a deep square leg fielder.
Shivam Dube arrived with his clean-hitting talent in tow and promptly smacked Riley Meredith for a beautiful offside six.
Just as he and Rayudu appeared to be the team to lead the chase from that moment on, Dube’s stay was cut short by an Ishan Kishan stunner behind the stumps.
Rayudu Sams’ fourth wicket of the night was taken by Pollard, who returned the senior batter for a 35-ball 40 and left the door slightly ajar for MI to fight their way back into the game.
In the 16th over, Meredith seized the lead by dismissing Ravindra Jadeja for five runs.
Unadkat was tasked with bowling those out and earning MI’s first points as CSK’s equation altered from 48 off 24, to 42 off 18, to 28 off 12, to 17 off 6, with the pendulum swinging back and forth.
It appeared to be slanted in their favor even at that point till Dhoni quietly delivered a great finish.
To a little extent, yes. Suryakumar got a couple of cover drives going in the thick of the chaos to ease MI’s nerves, but an expansive attempt at a slog sweep from outside the off-stump against Mitchell Santner ended his bid to resurrect his side.
In the eighth over, he was bowled for 32 runs off 21 balls, leaving MI’s batting fate in the hands of Tilak Varma and rookie Hrithik Shoukeen.
Kieron Pollard was trapped by one of CSK’s oldest gimmicks, a fielder at the long stop for the big West Indian to hit straight to, which had worked in the IPL 2010 final.
It worked again tonight, and MI’s chances of a strong finish were dwindling.
In the following over, Daniel Sams was stumped by Dwayne Bravo’s slower one, further denting MI’s chances, but Unadkat stepped up for a cameo of 19 off 9 balls.
During his quick-fire stand with Unadkat, Varma reached his second IPL half-century, while MI scored 29 runs off Dwaine Pretorius and Bravo’s last two overs. Dhoni chose to turn back the clocks after that late effort failed.