CSK, on Thursday, won the 'Sixth' victory, thanks to the excellent half-century shifts of captain MS Dhoni (58) and Ambati Rayudu (57). In this exciting match played at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, Chennai defeated Rajasthan by 4 wickets. With this win, Dhoni scored 100th in the Indian T20 League as captain.
Starting the chase, Chennai were in dire straits as they were at 24/4 at one stage. The home side's bowlers and the fielders were on fire, putting the visitors under the pump. Then came a magnificent and match-resurrecting stand of 95 runs between MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu. Both of them got to their half centuries and ensured that their side was still in the game as it neared the close. Even as Rayudu fell, Dhoni continued finding the boundaries and departed in the last over with 8 needed off 3 balls. That was when Santner walked in and turned hero!
Coming to the hosts' bowling, there was a standout performer in Jofra Archer. Dhawal Kulkarni bowled well upfront but the rest of the bowlers came under pressure and suffered while the Rayudu-Dhoni duo was out in the middle. Stokes especially bowled a no ball and a wide in the last over and almost another no ball, which he was lucky to get away with.
He failed to defend the 17 runs in the bank for the final over and Rajasthan continue to remain with just a single win. Earlier in the evening, a disciplined bowling performance saw Chennai restricting Rajasthan to 151, though it could have been much lesser if not for some lusty blows in the last over of Shardul Thakur. That though did not prove to be enough in the end as a captain's knock from Dhoni and the finishing touch by Santner saw the Men in Yellow post their sixth win this year as well as pile the misery on tonight's home side.
Rajasthan captain, Ajinkya Rahane, says that he wouldn't have done anything differently. Mentions that 151 was a low total as they should have had at least 20 runs more. Adds that he still feels disappointed having conceded 18 runs in the final over. States that they did well in the field, but there are plenty of areas to improve. Continues saying that the team changes happen based on the conditions and the opponents. Feels that captaincy is a different challenge and he is relishing it.
Chennai captain and Man of the Match, MS Dhoni, (On him being animated towards the end) has a laugh and asks whether Murali Kartik is asking about the last tense over or him going on the field and having a talk with the umpires (Regarding the no ball fiasco). Mentions that credit should be given to Rajasthan for putting pressure on his side with the ball. Emphasizes that it's important to identify the regular mistakes and rectify them as quickly as possible. States that the ball was coming nicely onto the bat, so there was pressure on the bowler along with the batsman.
Adds that individuals commit mistakes (Referring to Shardul Thakur), but it's the team's job to bail them out and that's the most important thing as a group. Says that they have very good support everywhere, and that he has played one of his best knocks at this venue, so is happy for the turnout of the Chennai supporters. Feels that it was a good thing that his main bowlers did well first up as it gave him the chance to test his other bowlers and ends by saying that the other players in the squad will get a chance as well.