For the Zillionth Time, Mahendra Singh Dhoni Finishes it off in Style

It was the 33rd match of Tata IPL 2022’s EL-CLASSICO. The tournament’s heavyweights faced off against each other. At the DY, the Mumbai Indians, who have won the IPL five times, face the Chennai Super Kings. Patil Sports Academy Mumbai has delivered the knockout punch 19 times in head-to-head competitions, including three final victories. CSK, on the other hand, could only defeat MI 13 times, with only one victory in the finals at the same venue in 2010.

In 2022, the story is a little different, with both teams fighting at the bottom of the table rather than at the top. After winning the toss, CSK captain Jadeja chose to bat first. Chennai made two changes for this match, as English recruits Moeen and Jordan were replaced by Pretorius and Santner. On the other hand, there were three changes in the blue corner, with Daniel Sams returning to the squad and Riley Meredith and Hritik Shoukeen, a 19-year-old allrounder, receiving debut caps.

Brief info of that match

Even Jadeja would not have predicted such a strong start from tall left-arm seamer Mukesh Choudhary, who dismissed both Mumbai openers in the first over of the match. Mukesh got Chennai off to the best possible start by reducing Mumbai to 23-3 after three overs. Surya played a few typical SKY shots to shift the momentum in Mumbai’s favour, but he was dismissed soon after due to a missed stumping by the great MSD. Hrithik Shokeen and Tilak Varma, two 19-year-old amateurs, played mature innings, stitching together a 37-run stand for the fifth wicket to take Mumbai to 84-4 from 47-4. MI added a few quick runs as a result of some sloppy fielding and a total of five dropped catches from CSK, with some sensible batting from Tilak Varma assisting Mumbai Indians with a 150+ score. In the last ten overs, the team scored 99 runs.

If Chennai can take a wicket in the second ball of the innings, then Mumbai can take one in the first. Mumbai got off to the best possible start in this defence, dismissing Ruturaj on the first ball. Santner, who was sent ahead of Rayudu, was also dismissed after a few promising shots. The veterans, Rayudu and Uthappa, attempted to rebuild the innings, but Daniel Sams was the stumbling block, picking up wickets at regular intervals and bringing MI back into the game. With 17 needed off the final six balls, the coolest man on the planet, MSD, simply did what he does best, finishing it off in style on the final ball of the innings to win it for Chennai Super Kings and take them to four points.

Top 3 Performances

Mukesh swings the Mumbai batters back to the pavilion

Mukesh Choudhary must have had bananas and eggs for breakfast before this match, because he was swinging the ball like a banana from the first ball, dismissing both Mumbai openers for ducks in his first over. Mukesh bowled a perfect in-swinging yorker on the first ball of the innings, which troubled Rohit. It’s now common knowledge that Rohit Sharma is vulnerable to in-swinging deliveries onto the pads from left-handers early in his innings.

Mukesh didn’t have to do much because he just bowled an inswinger into Rohit’s pad. Following that, the Mumbai captain played a no-ball, gifting his wicket for a duck on the second ball of the innings. Mukesh bowled the million-dollar Ishan Kishan cleanly with an absolute peach of a delivery, utilising the swing provided by the new ball. The ball was full and swinging away from Kishan, who most likely missed the line of the ball, got squared up, and ended up losing his balance and falling to his knees to that 139.9kph out swinging Yorker.

Mukesh didn’t stop there; he also dismissed baby AB, Deward Brevis. Choudhary saw Dewald approaching and slammed it short, wide and angled across the right-hander. Brewis simply threw his hands up, edging it to the ever-safe MS Dhoni, who finished the formalities with the gloves. Mukesh was denied a four when DJ Bravo dropped a sitter off Tilak Verma, who went on to score a crucial fifty for Mumbai. Choudhary made the most of the new ball, picking up three wickets in two consecutive overs and making the Mumbai batters dance to his swing tune during the powerplay. Mukesh finished his three overs with three for 19 and an economy of 6.30.

Daniel “Summons” to Chennai with a four

Sams, who had been leaking runs at a rate of 12.63 per over before this match, was making a comeback after being dropped for two games. The tall Australian all-rounder took a wicket on the first ball of the innings, setting the tone for Mumbai’s defence. The tall left-arm seamer then dismissed Sanner with a short ball that simply climbed onto Sanner, who ended up top-edging it to Jaydev Unadkat.

Whenever Chennai formed a partnership, Rohit introduced Sams, who broke the shackles with wickets! Daniel set up Dube with a bouncer that pushed the left-hander back on his backfoot, then followed up with a brilliant good length ball that picked up Shivam Dube’s thick outside edge. In the 15th over, the allrounder was brought on again in search of a wicket and did exactly what the doctor ordered, dismissing the well-settled Ambati Rayudu, who sliced a full toss to a diving Pollard at long-on. Daniel took a wicket in every over he bowled in this match, taking four crucial time and big wickets while allowing only 30 runs in his four overs.

MS Dhoni finishes off in style

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

There hasn’t been a better finisher of any game than Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and he proved it in this match for the umpteenth time! Even if only 1% of the fans believed in CSK at the start of the 19th over, when they needed 28 off 12 balls, it was because of the presence of the greatest finisher ever, MSD. Preterious and Dhoni wisely played out the 19th over of Yorker king Jasprit Bumrah without taking any risks or losing any wickets, knowing that Jaydev Unadkat would bowl the final over. Mumbai were still favourites to win the game with 17 runs needed off the final six. Unadkat struck precariously right in front of the stumps for a plump LBW, which was incorrectly judged by the umpire, and the decision was overturned after a successful Mumbai review. A wicket on the first ball of the final over swung the scales even more in Mumbai’s favour.

Needing 17 off 5, Bravo, who was on strike, did what was necessary and took a single, bringing the ice cold Dhoni on strike. Dhoni, who has always had the upper hand over Jaydev, had scored 83 runs off 36 balls with a strike rate of 236.24 before this match, with the latter dismissing MSD only once. Unadkat bowled right in the slot for Dhoni to bring those fast bottom hands into the game and smashed a flat-six into the straight sightscreen like a tracer bullet, needing 16 off four balls, bowling from over the wicket angling across the right-hander. With 10 required off three balls, Unadkat made another error by bowling a slower bouncer, which Dhoni hooked with a slight top edge towards the fine leg boundary. CSK still needed six runs off two deliveries, so Unadkat delivered a brilliant yorker at leg stump. Dhoni whipped the ball to deep midwicket and ran like a horse for two runs.

What happened next came as no surprise to the other MSDians who had been witnessing it for the past 18 years. The heart rate of the spectators and Unadkat was higher than MSD’s strike rate, but the great man standing at the striker’s end was as cool as the protoplanetary Boomerang Nebula (The coldest object in the universe). Unadkat bowled a low full toss on MSD’s legs, and because the fine leg was up, Dhoni shuffled across and chopped it fine for a boundary behind a deep square leg, adding another chapter to his long list of last-over finishes. Dhoni also has the most runs in the 20th over batting second in IPL history, having scored 250 runs at an average of 35.71 with a staggering strike rate of 287.35, including 23 mammoth sixes in many CSK matches.


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