Chennai: Chennai Super Kings are used to it. With 2 runs required off the last ball, they had their captain cool on strike who doesn’t fail under such circumstances. Dhoni hit the ball on the leg-side and before Cooper could collect it from deep-square leg, Dhoni and Bravo completed a couple that sealed the win. Rajasthan should be happy to have taken the match to the last ball of the match.
In spite of having scored 20 runs short of what they would have liked to against Chennai, Rajasthan managed to take the match to the final over. At the end of 17th over, Rajasthan had reached 129 runs as Menaria smashed Bravo for a boundary and a six in the same over. But the well set Owais Shah could manage to score just one six off the next three overs as he perished off the final ball of the innings. As a result of some tight bowling by Kulasekara, Rajasthan managed to score just 8 runs from the 18th and the 20th over. Kulasekara and Ashwin were the pick of Chennai bowlers who contained the runs to a great extent.
For Rajasthan, Rahane and Dravid, who have been pretty successful, shared a 36-run opening partnership. The openers looked fluent and Rahane in particular continued his good form and played some elegant shots on the off-side. Once Rahane and Dravid perished at the score of 50, it was the in-form Owais Shah and Ashok Menaria who stabilized the innings. Shah continued his good run with the bat as he went on to score 52 from 43 balls. The highlight of Shah throughout this IPL has been his ability to hamper the rhythm of the bowler by shuffling between the wickets. Even in this match, he managed to bother Ravindra Jadeja who ended up giving 10 wides in the 15th over that produced 21 runs for Rajasthan.
146 looked like an easy chase for Chennai who have an incredible record of dealing with formidable targets. Badrinath and Faf du Plessis who shared a 116-run opening stand in the last match were once again determined to get Chennai to a confident start, as they added 55 for the first wicket. Badrinath (15) was the first wicket to fall but that did not stop du Plessis from hitting brutal blows every now and then. The South African once again impressed with his shot selection and it was his flawless innings, which reduced the pressure off the other batsmen.
Faf du Plessis was out in the 16th over for 73 and Cooper dismissed Raina in the same over to bring Chennai batsmen under some pressure. Even though the match lasted till the last delivery, one had this feeling that Dhoni will manage to score the winning runs as he was the best player to have dealt with such kind of pressure-cooker scenario and he did exactly that as his team-mates, home crowd went berserk.
The highlight of the match was the innings played by Shah and du Plessis who are having a dream run in IPL 2012. Ajinkya Rahane could not put up a big knock, but with his magnificent strokes, he showed that he deserves something bigger than playing in the Indian Premier League.