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IPL 2019: Looking back at the crazy CSK triumph that ended with Mitchell Santner's last-ball six

ANALYST
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578   //    Timeless

How many times do we see MS Dhoni storming onto the field after getting out, just to vent his frustration out at the umpire? The RR vs CSK match, the 25th of IPL 2019, saw Dhoni getting angrier than usual at an umpiring call, plunging the entire stadium into chaos.

After a couple of boring chases of below-par scores, Chennai Super Kings treated the fans with a thrilling contest against Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.

RR captain Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and opted to bowl first, and CSK reduced the Royals to a mere 151/7 with Ravindra Jadeja taking two wickets for 20 runs in his spell. Jadeja was well complemented by the left arm spinner Mitchell Santner, who took a wicket for 25 runs.

Nobody really rose to the occasion for Rajasthan Royals, which is why they failed to post a mammoth total and truly challenge CSK.

Everyone thought this would be yet another easy victory for CSK, but things didn't go according to plan for the visitors. They lost a bunch of early wickets and the score was 24/4 before the skipper Dhoni stepped in.

Dhoni's well-trusted companion Ambati Rayudu was at the other end, and all the hopes of the team were pinned on these two.

Dhoni and Rayudu steadied the ship for CSK with a 95-run partnership (picture courtesy: BCCI/iplt20.com)
Dhoni and Rayudu steadied the ship for CSK with a 95-run partnership (picture courtesy: BCCI/iplt20.com)

Rayudu looks serene whenever he bats with Dhoni; the latter always brings the best out of Rayudu with his calm demeanor. Rayudu and Dhoni steadied the ship for Chennai as both the players focused on taking ones and twos rather than trying to hit the ball over the fence.

That said, whenever there was an opportunity, both the players smashed some amazing sixes.

Rayudu completed his fifty in due course of time. The score was 119-4 when he tried to clear the boundary off Ben Stokes' slow delivery but instead got caught at the deep mid-wicket boundary to Shreyas Gopal.

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Rayudu had scored 57 runs in 46 balls before his departure in the 18th over.

The 19th over gave hope to Rajasthan Royals as the ball was given to Jofra Archer, who was the pick of the bowlers for them. He lived up to the expectations, restricting Dhoni to only twos, but the last ball took the edge of Dhoni's bat and went for a boundary.

Even that over looked costly for the Royals but they still had 18 runs to defend in the last over.

The pressure was slowly mounting upon CSK but the game's best finisher Dhoni was still there. Stokes took over the charge to bowl the last over and Jadeja was on strike. The first ball went for a six from Jadeja and CSK required 12 from the last 5 balls.

Things started to get easier for CSK as the second ball that Stokes bowled was a no-ball and the equation changed to 8 runs in 4 balls, before the ultimate twist happened.

Stokes got Dhoni clean bowled off his third delivery, and the tables had turned once again in favor of Rajasthan. Mitchell Santner then came out to bat as Stokes bowled a full toss which was initially declared a no-ball by the umpire.

The whole stadium erupted considering it to be a free-hit, but the umpires immediately overturned their decision. A furious Dhoni walked on to the field from the pavilion to express his rage at the umpires.

But he couldn't convince them to change their ruling, and the equation was reduced to 6 runs in 2 balls with Santner on strike. He got two runs off the next ball as CSK were left to score 4 runs in 1 ball to finish it off.

Then came another twist as Stokes bowled a wide ball, to make the equation 3 runs in one ball. Every result seemed possible at that point, including a Super Over, but Stokes bowled a rank length ball and Santner blasted it for a maximum.

Just like that, the visitors had won the match in thrilling fashion, to give Dhoni his 100th IPL victory as CSK captain.

Both Rayudu and Dhoni were the stars for CSK. Their partnerships could also be helpful for the Indian team in their World Cup campaign, which is going to start in the month of June.

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