Dhoni and Rayudu star as Super Kings down RCB in thriller
Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni starred as Chennai Super Kings produced a thrilling run-chase to defeat Royal Challengers Bangalore by five wickets in the Indian Premier League.
AB de Villiers' electric 30-ball 68, as part of a century stand with Quinton de Kock (53) helped RCB to an imposing 205-8.
The Super Kings were reeling in reply at 74-4, but Rayudu (82) and Dhoni (70) launched a stunning counter-attack to reduce the required run rate.
It looked as though they would fall short when Rayudu was run out at the end of the 18th over, but some poor death bowling from Mohammed Siraj – including three straight wides – left the visitors needing 16 off the last over.
Dwayne Bravo landed 11 of those before the ice cool Dhoni launched the final six in what was a record for maximums in an IPL match to seal the most dramatic of wins and put the Super Kings top of the table.
DEVASTATING DE VILLIERS, BRAVO, DWAYNE!
De Villiers was certainly in the mood, launching eight sixes in his knock including three in a row off Shardul Thakur in the 13th over, as he and De Kock put on 103 for the second wicket.
Bravo eventually broke the stand, perplexing De Kock with a slower ball that was chipped back into the bowler's hands.
And then Imran Tahir removed the dangerman, De Villiers tempted into a leading edge to sweeper cover, before snaffling Corey Anderson (2) with the next ball.
Bravo had the ball in hand for the last over when Colin de Grandhomme (11) and Pawan Negi (0) were run out, before the West Indies star forced Umesh Yadav (0) to hole out to Sam Billings at deep midwicket.
RAYUDU AND DHONI LEAD THE CHASE
A tall order was made even more difficult when Shane Watson (7), Suresh Raina (11), Billings (9) and Ravindra Jadeja (3) failed to make an impact.
But Dhoni played with typical class, while Rayudu anchored a sublime century stand with eight sixes and three fours.
Rayudu's knock came to an end with a brilliant run out from Umesh Yadav despite a desperate dive.
However, Siraj's jitters at the end hampered RCB and in the final over Bravo edged Anderson for four and lofted one over the covers for six, before Dhoni put the finishing touch on the win with a smack straight over the cow corner ropes.