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April 12, 2019

Chennai Super Kings pull off last-ball thriller, defeat Rajasthan Royals by four wickets


Apr 12: Chennai Super Kings pulled off a last-ball thriller to defeat Rajasthan Royals by four wickets at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Thursday.

With the win, MS Dhoni has added another feather to his illustrious career, becoming the first captain to register 100 wins in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Chasing a target of 152, Dhawal Kulkarni dismissed Shane Watson for a duck in the very first over to ensure a quality start.

In the next over, a direct-hit at the non-striker`s end by Jofra Archer resulted in run-machine Suresh Raina (4) walking back.

Ambati Rayudu witnessed the dismissal of Faf du Plessis (7) and Kedar Jadhav (1) in quick succession before finding support in captain MS Dhoni, with whom he built a 95-run stand to inch closer towards victory.

However, Rajasthan tilted the momentum when Ben Stokes dismissed Rayudu (57), who tried to swat the ball with Shreyas Gopal holding on to the ball at square leg.

With eight required off four balls, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja in the middle almost took Chennai home but Stokes nailed the perfect yorker at the right time dismissing Dhoni for 58.

Just when Rajasthan thought they would seal the match, Stokes bowled a no-ball to Mitchell Santner, bringing in an angry Dhoni to argue with the umpires, who revoked it.

With three required off the last ball, Santner finished off the game in style, smashing a six off Stokes.

Earlier, put in to bat, a late flourish helped Rajasthan recover from a loss of wickets in the middle overs to post a competitive target of 151.

Openers Ajinkya Rahane and Jos Buttler could have settled in the powerplay had Chennai skipper Dhoni not appealed for an lbw decision off Deepak Chahar a few nanoseconds before the DRS countdown ended.

Dhoni`s cheeky decision worked in favour of the visitors, forcing Rahane to walk back for 14. In the very next over, Shardul Thakur dismissed Buttler (23), leaving Rajasthan struggling at 47/2.

The Chennai bowlers spun a web around Rajasthan, taking wickets at regular intervals, including the big fish Steve Smith (15), who became Jadeja`s 100th victim in the league.

Rajasthan at 78/5 clawed back midway through the innings as Ben Stokes and the 17-year-old debutant Riyan Parag added a crucial 25 runs to cross the 100-run mark. However, Thakur dismissed Parag caught behind for 16, while Chahar cleaned up Stokes for 28.

The hosts fought back in the death overs scoring 18 runs off Shardul Thakur's final over. Rajasthan will next face Mumbai Indians on April 13, whereas Chennai will play against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 14.

Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 155/6 (MS Dhoni 58, AT Rayudu 57, BA Stokes 2-39) beat Rajasthan Royals 151/7 (BA Stokes 28, RA Jadeja 2-20, DL Chahar 2-33, SN Thakur 2-44) by four wickets.

Chennai Super Kings pull off last-ball thriller, defeat Rajasthan Royals by four wickets


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