Match number twenty-five of the Indian Premier League saw hosts Rajasthan Royals take on table-toppers Chennai Super Kings in Jaipur on Thursday. The previous encounter this season saw Chennai beat Rajasthan by 8 runs in a closely fought encounter. This match too was closely fought by both teams but eventually, CSK came out winners by winning the match by 4 wickets in a nail-biting encounter. Like other matches, the CSK vs RR match too was a last over affair. In the end, Chennai managed to snatch victory away from the home team and defeated them for the second time this season.
Winning the toss, Dhoni asked Ajinkya Rahane and boys to bat first. The decision worked for CSK as the home team lost their captain Ajinkya Rahane in the third over itself as he was dismissed after making 14 runs. Soon wickets kept falling for Rajasthan Royals as Jos Buttler (23), Sanju Samson (6) departed in quick succession. Steven Smith, who was looking good on the pitch, was out for 15. Tail-enders Jofra Archer and Shreyas Gopal showed their talent with the bat towards the end and helped Rajasthan post 151 off 20 overs. Shardul Thakul was hit for 18 runs in the last over and we guess that’s what made the difference in the chase
Chasing 152, Dhoni made changes in the opening pair of CSK and sent Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis. But Chennai Super Kings had a poor start to their innings as Watson was out for a golden duck in the first over itself. He was followed by Suresh Raina who was run out by Jofra Archer, Raina made a mere 4 runs. Faf du Plessis soon followed his teammates back to the dressing room after getting caught on a Jaydev Unadkat delivery. Kedar Jadhav too had a short stay in the middle after he was caught off a stunner by Ben Stokes at point. In came Dhoni along with Rayudu on the other end and stabilised the falling CSK innings. Playing patiently and shifting gears in between, Rayudu and Dhoni managed to take CSK out of danger. After making 57, Rayudu was caught off a Ben Stokes delivery. The real action took place in the last over when CSK needed 18 off 6 balls. Jadeja hit Stokes for a six on the first ball, on the third ball, Stokes clean bowled Dhoni. MSD made 58 off 43 balls with the help of 2 boundaries and 3 sixes.
Fans sitting on the edge of their seats saw Dhoni totally lose it in the last over an umpiring decision. He walked on to the field to fight for his team and a heating conversation ensued on the pitch. it's something we rarely see from Dhoni but the intensity of the moment justifies it. In the end, Mitchell Santner did it for CSK as he hit Stokes for a six in the last delivery.
With this win, CSK maintains its top position in the points table, Rajasthan remains in the seventh position.