Just when his team needed it the most MS Dhoni played a very crucial inning to save his team. He scored an excellent fifty to take his team to a respective total.
It was a very unusual start for CSK, as they lost both their openers in a jiffy. The first to go was their Mr Dependable Ruturaj Gaikwad. He was soon followed by the wicket of CSK debutant Conway.
Uthappa and Rayudu tried to fight back but could not resurrect a comeback, and they were sent back to the pavilion one after the other.
Another debutant in the of Dubey for CSK was not able to make it big. He, too, was dismissed for just 2 runs by Russel.
This brought Dhoni onto the crease.
When he took up the helm, CSK struggled at 61 in their 10.5 overs.
With the new captain, the ex-captain of Chennai decided to weave an important partnership.
MS Dhoni starts slow
It was not easy conditions for batting. This was clear from the 11th over of the play that had taken place before Dhoni’s arrival.
Even Jadeja, the man in the form of his life, could not find his strides. Hence, nobody was surprised to see Dhoni making a slow start, especially against the spin bowlers.
There was one point in the match where CSK were languishing badly. They had two of the most experienced batters on the wicket, but things were going in their way.
Dhoni was playing at 2 off 10 deliveries, and the team was headed towards a low target. Things were not good at the other end either, as Jadeja was batting with a strike rate of 75.
With just 18 deliveries to go, CSK had just 84 runs on the board.
That is when Thala decided to take matters into his own hands.
Thala to the rescue
The next over was bowled by one of the most dreaded bowlers in the KKR lineup. It was Dre Russel who ran in, to bowl some quick deliveries. But Dhoni was prepared for him.
He nicely cut the ball into the gap to pick up a boundary at deep point. He hoofed another four off his hips to deep square leg three balls later. The third four was a little cheeky as it didn’t go where Dhoni wanted it to be, yet it gave him a 4 none the less. As a result, CSK managed to accumulate 14 runs off the over.
In the next over, Dhoni once again showed his class by taking 15 runs off Mavi’s 19th over.
He made the most of the final over, which was once again bowled by Russel. This time Dhoni and Jadeja muscled him for 18 runs.
Dhoni once again stroked Russel for two consecutive fours in the over. He also brought up his 24th career fifty in IPL, that too in just 38 balls.
This was his first fifty since the 2019 edition of IPL. It came after 28 innings, and for CSK fans, it couldn’t have come at any better time.
In the last bowl of the inning, Jadeja saw the ball sailing over the fence for a six. This took CSK’s total past the 130-run mark.
It is not a very respectable total, but it is something that CSK fans can be happy about. If their bowlers take early wickets, maybe they will be able to make this a challenging game for KKR.