Cricket

Twitter Reactions: MS Dhoni takes fans a walk down memory lane to knock SRH out of the park

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is some team! They were knocked out of the tournament last year and it was the first time they hadn’t made it to the playoffs. They learnt from those setbacks and have become the first team this season to officially qualify for the playoffs. And in what style it happened! MS Dhoni smashed a huge six to finally finish a game this season. The 135-run chase had gotten tricky in the end but they got home safely in the final over to defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) who also got officially knocked out with this loss.

Earlier, it was yet another struggle for SRH batters. Wriddhiman Saha stuck it out in the middle to score 44 off 46 balls but the early wickets of Jason Roy and Kane Williamson that hurt them. Josh Hazlewood and Dwayne Bravo bowled well on the slow Sharjah pitch to churn out wickets. It was Saha who held the innings together until the 13th over when he got out.

At 74/4, Abdul Samad and Abhishek Sharma, two youngsters, joined hands to add 35 runs in just 24 balls. The duo rotated strike and also hit a couple of lusty blows to give SRH a chance to get to 140. But Hazlewood was having a brilliant game on the day as he snaffled both the batters to end his terrific spell with the figures of 3/24.

Rashid Khan then threw his blade at everything to somehow propel SRH to 134 in their 20 overs. He scored an unbeaten 17 off 13 balls with two fours during his stay in the middle. For CSK, apart from Hazlewood, it was Bravo who bowled exceptionally well to return with 2/17 while Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja also snaffled one.

A walk in the park for CSK

It wasn’t the slowest Sharjah pitch on offer on the day. And the chase of 135 was never going to trouble CSK with their batters in brilliant form. Once again, it was their openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis who continued their good work at the top of the order. They started slowly scoring only 12 runs off the first three overs. But the process of upping the ante was so smooth that CSK crossed the 50-run mark in the usual pace in the 7th over.

Gaikwad was at the heart of bringing the required rate under the control. He played sumptuous strokes and outscored Du Plessis very comfortably. But the latter wasn’t far behind either as he opened his arms soon to churn out easy boundaries. The 75-run association was only broken in the 11th over of the innings when Gaikwad hit one high on the bat off Jason Holder to be caught by Kane Williamson at mid-off.

Nevertheless, he scored 45 runs off 38 balls and was immensely impressive in his approach. Despite the fall of wicket, there was no respite for SRH, as Moeen Ali came and played his shots while Du Plessis continued to bat at similar pace. However, a good couple of overs (14th and 15th) coupled with a wicket of Moeen Ali thanks to Rashid Khan brought the equation down to 30 runs off five overs.

Things got even more interesting when Jason Holder dismissed Suresh Raina and Du Plessis in the same over. Bhuvneshwar Kumar then followed up with a classic over filled with variations as the match went down to over. CSK needed 22 runs off the last three overs and another brilliant over from Siddarth Kaul brought it to 16 needed off the final two overs with Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni in the middle.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was given the responsibility to bowl the penultimate over. While he started the over well, Bhuvi missed his length once and Rayudu punished him to slam a huge six. Dhoni then smacked one for four as CSK were left to get only three runs off the last over. And they got home eventually with two balls to spare, which should’ve been a cakewalk at the halfway stage of the chase.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: