MS Dhoni's crestfallen look from CSK dugout moments before heartbreaking loss to RCB goes viral | Crickit
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MS Dhoni's crestfallen look from CSK dugout moments before heartbreaking loss to RCB goes viral

May 19, 2024 09:29 AM IST

As RCB players burst into wild celebrations at their home ground, a shattered MS Dhoni blinked his eyes a few times, in a way of holding back tears…

Unlike sending Shardul Thakur ahead of himself, as seen in previous matches, MS Dhoni decided to step out at No. 8 for Chennai Super Kings in the match against Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. With Chennai having lost their middle order, and the remaining target of 99 runs in 36 balls looking a bit improbable, Dhoni's plan was simply to combine with Ravindra Jadeja and beat RCB in the battle for the net run rate by chasing the required 81 runs.

MS Dhoni moments before CSK's 27-run loss against RCB
MS Dhoni moments before CSK's 27-run loss against RCB

Chennai's last batting pair took the game deep with some quick boundaries to reduce the equation to 17 runs required from the last over for the defending champions to qualify. Dhoni kicked off the final over with a mighty 110-metre six against Yash Dayal that went over the Chinnaswamy roof as the equation reduced to just 11 runs from five overs.

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The match took a turn when Yash Dayal, after a misstep with his yorker on the first ball of the last over, returned to his strength and bowled a slower one that dismissed Dhoni on the next delivery. No. 9 batter Shardul Thakur found it challenging to put Jadeja back on strike. The pressure was on Jadeja, who also struggled against the slower deliveries from the left-arm pacer. Despite their efforts, RCB survived the thriller, winning by 27 runs and securing a spot in the playoffs.

ALSO READ: Virat Kohli fights hard to hold back tears, Anushka Sharma overcome with emotions as RCB defy odds to reach IPL playoffs

Amid the final over, with three balls to spare, the cameraman caught Dhoni with a shattered look in the CSK dugout as he stared into the inevitable. And as RCB players burst into wild celebrations at their home ground, Dhoni only blinked his eyes a few times, in a way of holding back tears before stepping out to shake hands with the opposition players.

This was the third time in IPL history that Chennai failed to make the playoffs, all of which happened in the last five years, which also includes two title runs. CSK eventually finished fifth in the points table with seven wins and as many losses. Captain Ruturaj Gaikwad admitted that given the spate of injuries in the CSK camp which included losing their entire pace line-up, he was content with the team's performance this season.

"With the kind of injuries we had, missing out on two frontline bowlers, not having Conway at the top of the order as well, I think missing out on three key players made a huge difference. Credit to the CSK staff and everyone who put up a great show for us throughout the season. There were many challenges for us right throughout the first game. Injury to Fizz (Mustafizur), then injury to Pathirana as well, he came back and then again Pathirana missed out. When you have injuries around, you have to get that balance in the team and pick it (the team) for every game. I think this season sums up well where we had to tinker around with our playing XI, considering the injuries and all the illness (of the players) as well. Happy with the seven wins, couldn't get over the line though," he said after the loss.

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