IPL 2014 Match 37: Dhoni delivers in another close finish

Dhoni kept his cool in another tense chase

Dhoni kept his cool in another tense chase

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni blitzed his way to an unbeaten 26 to help his side defeat the Rajasthan Royals by five wickets in Ranchi.

Dhoni was well supported by West Indies batsman Dwayne Smith, who scored 44, and India pace bowler Mohit Sharma, who took three wickets.

However, Rajasthan skipper Shane Watson deserves some credit as well as he smashed a valiant half-century.

Watson would have been pleased with his decision to bat first as he and Ankit Sharma amassed a 60-run partnership before Sharma was caught by Smith at long-on off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin for 30 runs.

Ajinkya Rahane only made four runs before he was run out by New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum.

Watson ended up making 51 off 36 balls, which included three boundaries and four sixes, before he was clean bowled by Sharma.

Watson smashed four sixes during his gutsy knock of 51

Watson smashed four sixes during his gutsy knock of 51

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Karun Nair scored eight runs before he was cleaned up by Samuel Badree.

Steven Smith fared no better as he had his stumps shattered by Sharma for just nine runs.

James Faulkner only made one run before he was clean bowled by Ravindra Jadeja.

Stuart Binny managed to make a quickfire 22 before he was caught by Faf du Plessis at long-on off the bowling of Jadeja.

Rajat Bhatia scored seven runs before he was caught by Smith at long-off to become Sharma’s third victim of the match.

Thanks to Watson, Rajasthan finished on 148/8 off their 20 overs.

Sharma was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Jadeja snapped up two and Ashwin and Badree chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 149 to win, Chennai got off to a poor start as McCullum was caught by Nair at square leg off the bowling of Ankit Sharma for six runs.

Suresh Raina only made two runs before he was caught by Bhatia at short fine leg off the bowling of Sharma.

Smith was the top-scorer for Chennai with 44 runs, which came off 35 balls and included five boundaries and two sixes, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Kevon Cooper.

Smith's excellent form with the bat continued as he struck a solid 44

Smith’s excellent form with the bat continued as he struck a solid 44

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Ashwin made 14 runs before he was clean bowled by Bhatia.

Du Plessis accumulated a fluent 38 before he was cleaned up by Faulkner.

Dhoni and Jadeja put together an unbeaten 28-run partnership to lead Chennai to a five-wicket win with two balls to spare.

Dhoni finished on 26 off 16 balls, which included one boundary and a six, while Jadeja remained undefeated on 11 off six deliveries, which included one six.

Sharma was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Faulkner, Cooper and Bhatia claimed one wicket each.

Jadeja was named Man of the Match, and said: “I like to play on this ground, I do something special for my team here. It’s a good wicket to bowl on, but [while] batting you need to play a few balls early on and then accelerate later.”

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