MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu guide CSK to thrilling win over RCB in IPL 2018 | cricket | Hindustan Times
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MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu guide CSK to thrilling win over RCB in IPL 2018

MS Dhoni’s brilliant, unbeaten 70 and Ambati Rayudu’s superb 82 helped Chennai Super Kings chase down 206 against Royal Challengers Bangalore and win by five wickets

cricket Updated: Apr 26, 2018 08:57 IST
Bihan Sengupta
MS Dhoni blasted 70* off 34 balls to power Chennai Super Kings to a thrilling five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.
MS Dhoni blasted 70* off 34 balls to power Chennai Super Kings to a thrilling five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore. (PTI)

MS Dhoni led from the front as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by five wickets, here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, with the former Indian skipper slamming a 34-ball 70 to chase down the mammoth 206-run target set by the hosts. Ambati Rayudu assisted his captain well, scoring 82 off 53 deliveries. (HIGHLIGHTS)

Dhoni-Rayudu blitz

Chasing down a 200-plus total, even with the short boundaries at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, is never easy. Ambati Rayudu, had however, got his side off the mark early, reaching 31 off 18 balls as the side reached 50 in just five overs. Pawan Negi had already removed the in-form Shane Watson but Rayudu didn’t take his foot off the pedal. (SCORECARD)

However, with Suresh Raina (8), Sam Billings (11) and Ravindra Jadeja (3) heading back to the pavilion in no time, Rayudu finally slowed down the tone of his innings as Mahendra Singh Dhoni joined him in the middle. From 50/1 after five overs, Chennai were down to 107/4 after 13 overs.

With 99 required off 42 balls, Dhoni and Rayudu both went on the offensive, picking up 44 runs off the next three overs. Dhoni was leading the charge, picking up seven sixes in his knock while Rayudu lent a helping hand from the other end with another eight sixes. Rayudu had a breather in the 16th over after Umesh Yadav let down a sitter. By the time the Indian pacer sent Rayudu back with a direct-throw, he had amassed another 21 runs off nine balls.

Dwayne Bravo unleashed his fiery self in the last over, picking up 11 off the first three deliveries with 16 required for victory before Dhoni finished things off with a gigantic six wide off long-on.

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Individual brilliance

In the 11th over of Bangalore’s innings, AB de Villiers guided a fine reverse-sweep off Imran Tahir down to the third-man boundary before sweeping one over long-leg for a gigantic six. As the ball made its way back from the crowd, MS Dhoni walked up to Tahir and instructed him on how to stop the hammering. The next ball went out of the stadium.

It was one of those nights for de Villiers when no plans would work. While he slammed a terrific 30-ball 68, he was well assisted by Quinton de Kock at the other end who scored 53 off 37 balls as they stitched a 103-run partnership for the second wicket off just 53 deliveries.

De Villiers was undoubtedly the more ruthless of the two as he smashed eight sixes and two boundaries. De Kock wasn’t shy of making his presence felt either, lacing his knock with four sixes and a boundary. The carnage began in the last over of the powerplay after the hosts were restricted to just 35 off the first five overs. Harbhajan Singh went for 17 off that over and the party had begun for the crowd that had fallen dead silent after Virat Kohli was dismissed on the cheap.

However, while the two made merry, there was hardly any support from the rest of the Bangalore batsmen who threw wickets cheaply and simply failed to carry forward the momentum set by the duo. With two maidens and four dismissals in the last seven balls of their innings, the hosts were well short of what they should have boasted of at the end of their innings.