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IPL 2018: Now, MS Dhoni wants bonus runs for sixes hit out of the stadium

MS Dhoni, the Chennai Super Kings skipper, was delighted after his team won a six-hitting competition against Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.

cricket Updated: Apr 11, 2018 08:54 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
IPL 2018,MS Dhoni,Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni during the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL 2018) vs Kolkata Knight Riders at M.A. Chidhambaram Cricket Stadium in Chennai on April 10, 2018. (AFP)

MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings edged out Kolkata Knight Riders in a slugfest between two former Indian Premier League (IPL) champions on Tuesday, and the CSK skipper was left purring in delight. (Match report)

Dhoni’s team made an emotional return to their home turf at the MA Chidambaram Stadium after two years count by chasing down KKR’s total of 202, clinching their second penultimate-ball win by reaching 205/5. (CSK v KKR highlights) (Full scorecard)

“It feels good, to come back after two years and win,” Dhoni said, cheered on by a sea of yellow-clad supporters. CSK were suspended for two years and had last played here in May, 2015.

Dhoni lived up to his nickname as Captain Cool as he guided the chase with Sam Billings, the England limited-overs specialist top-scoring with 56 in a fitting response to Andre Russell’s sensational 36-ball 88 not out.

Although CSK’s 14 sixes – five by Billings – fell short of the 17 by KKR, 11 by Russell alone, the host batsmen matched their rivals in muscle power as many of those hits sailed high into the upper tier of the stands and some even going out of the ground.

“There were a lot of sixes. I think IPL should add two runs everytime the ball goes out of the stadium,” Dhoni joked while speaking at the post-match presentation.

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The biggest challenge for CSK in the build-up was to keep their emotions in check after their fans turned up in thousands at training and during an open-top bus parade before IPL 2018 in an overwhelming show of support.

Batting coach, Mike Hussey, had urged the players to focus on the job at hand, Dhoni felt mission accomplished.

“The crowd deserved the first innings, the second innings,” he said. “Everybody has his own emotion levels, but in the dugout we like to keep faith in our batsmen or bowler in a particular time. Positive energy helps.

He added: “My pulse rises too, and that’s why we have a dressing room. You can’t express yourself much in the dugout; I express myself in the dressing room. If you’re too expressive in the field, then commentators get a lot of things to talk about.”

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Although Mumbai Indians have won IPL thrice and CSK’s two wins have been matched by KKR, Dhoni’s side have been the most consistent. They won in 2010 and 2011, were runners-up four times, and reached the playoffs on each of the eight seasons they played in.

They were suspended for the last two years over the 2013 spot-fixing scandal, but have started the 11th edition with two thrilling wins, serving notice they will be a force to contend with again.

First Published: Apr 11, 2018 07:59 IST