Twitterati: Dhoni’s Huge Six Versus SRH Leads CSK To Playoffs

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Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is a fantastic group of players. They were eliminated from the competition last year, the 1st time they had failed to make the playoffs. They learned from their mistakes and are the first club this season to have officially qualified for the playoffs.

And what a way it unfolded, as MS Dhoni hit a stunning six to complete a match for the first time this season. The 135-run hunt had become difficult in the last over, but they made it comfortably in the last over to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), who were also finally driven out with this setback.

Initially, it had been another battle for the SRH hitters. Wriddhiman Saha fought his way through the middle to hit 44 from 46 balls, but the quick wickets of Jason Roy and Kane Williamson damaged them. On the sluggish Sharjah ground, Josh Hazlewood and Dwayne Bravo bowled brilliantly and took wickets. Saha kept the effort together before the 13th over, since he was caught.

Hazlewood was having a fantastic game on the day

With 74/4, Abdul Samad alongside Abhishek Sharma, two young batsmen, combined to contribute 35 runs in 24 balls. The pair alternated strikes and delivered a couple of powerful smashes to give SRH a chance to reach 140. But Hazlewood was having a fantastic game on the day, as he scooped both batters to finish his amazing session with 3/24.

Rashid Khan next launched his sword at everything, driving SRH to 134 in 20 overs. Throughout his time in the middle, he struck an undefeated 17 off 13 balls with 2 fours. Besides Hazlewood, Bravo bowled very well for CSK, returning with 2/17, with Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur also grabbing one.

And with their batsmen in top form, a 135 chase was never anticipated to pose a problem for CSK. Yet again, their openers Ruturaj Gaikwad & Faf du Plessis performed admirably at the top of the lineup. They got off to a sluggish start, scoring only 12 runs in the opening 3 overs. However, the process of increasing the tempo was so efficient that CSK reached the 50-run milestone in the 7th over at their regular.

Gaikwad was instrumental in getting the needed rate under supervision. He performed excellent strokes and easily surpassed Du Plessis. But the latter wasn’t far behind, opening his arms quickly to hammer out to hit the ropes. The 75-run drought was ended in the 11th over of the game when Gaikwad hammered one high off Jason Holder and was picked at mid-off by Kane Williamson.

Despite this, he got 45 runs off 38 balls and was quite remarkable in his strategy. Following the wicket fall, SRH had little relief as Moeen Ali stepped in and played his strokes, while Du Plessis remained to bat at an equal tempo. Nevertheless, a solid couple of overs (14th and 15th) along with Rashid Khan’s wicket of Moeen Ali reduced the calculation to 30 runs from 5 overs.

CSK officially qualifies for the playoffs

Everything heated up further when Jason Holder removed  Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina in the same over. As the contest came to an end, Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a great over full of variations. CSK required 22 runs off the next 3 overs, and another superb spell from Siddarth Kaul reduced the target to 16 off the last 2 overs having MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu in the middle.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was tasked with bowling the last over. While he began the over nicely, Bhuvi miscalculated his length again and Rayudu penalized him with a big six. Dhoni then smashed one for 4, leaving CSK with only 3 runs in the last over. And they ultimately came home with 2 balls to go, which should have been a piece of cake at the midway point of the hunt.

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