At M. Chinnaswamy, it was the ex-Indian captain vs the current Indian captain today. Virat Kohli’s boys came out to take on MSD’s men. What else could you ask for? It was a contest between a hot headed classical Kohli and cool as a cucumber, legend MS Dhoni.
Having won the toss, Dhoni chose to bowl first. For RCB, Kohli and de Kock opened the innings. They started hitting the bowlers right from the word go. Kohli couldn’t keep up his hitting and got out in the 5th over after scoring 18 runs. And then arrived, AB de Villiers. He thrashed the bowlers to all parts of the ground. With de Kock, he put a very important 103-run partnership. While de Kock scored a composed 53 off 37 balls, de Villiers was in a completely different mood. No matter where the bowler bowled, he had one answer for every deliver. He kept hitting every ball bowled at him. De Villiers set up the tone for innings and helped RCB aim at a target of 200+. De Villiers fell prey to an away-turning delivery from his country-mate, Imran Tahir. He scored a brilliant 68 off just 30 balls with the help of 2 fours and 8 sixes.
After his dismissal, RCB’s inning came to a hold. Runs stopped coming in. At that moment, it was Mandeep’s 32 off 17 that helped Bangalore reach a total of 205 in their 20-overs.
RCB spared no bowler. Every bowler conceded runs with an economy of over 8. It was Dhoni’s tactical captaincy and amazing field placement that helped CSK stop the run-flow at a time when Bangalore looked to be in complete control of the game. With de Villiers batting, even 250 looked reachable. But then came some intelligent decisions from the man behind the stumps and they completely changed the course of the match, keeping RCB down to 205.
Coming into bat, Chennai didn’t get the best of start. The in-form Watson got out early in the innings. While Ambati Rayudu kept the other end occupied, Raina, Billings and Jadeja soon followed Watson and returned to the pavilion without contributing much. When CSK were in deep trouble, in came the man himself, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. With Rayudu, he built up an initially steady partnership. Rayudu was hitting the bowl well. Soon, Dhoni turned on his beast mode and started sending the bowlers back into the stands. Rayudu anchored Chennai’s innings, scoring 82 runs off just 53 balls with 3 fours and 8 sixes. But Chennai’s win was written by their captain. Dhoni stepped on the accelerator and scored a quick-fire 70 off just 34 balls with 7 huge sixes that went sailing out of the park. Dhoni proved yet again, why he is the best finisher the world has ever seen.
Rayudu and Dhoni played a crucial part in CSK’s nail-biting victory over RCB. They smashed all the bowlers. Both of them stood there for long and made sure that the required rate never went out of reach.
With 30 needed of last 12 balls and Rayudu back in the pavilion, Dhoni shifted gears. Dhoni didn’t want to lose it from here. CSK required 16 runs with one over left. Corey Anderson had the ball in hand. He bowled short and wide, and was sent into the stands on two occasions in the final over.
Dhoni finished the match with his famous “Finishing Six” once again. CSK won the game with two balls left.