MS Dhoni couldn’t take Chennai Super Kings over the line


Image Courtesy – Hindustan Times

#Gaylestorm finally arrives in this season of #IPL2018 for #KXIP as #CSK lost the thriller by 4 runs.

CSK – Chennai Super Kings lost the thrilling match by just 4 runs against KXIP – Kings XI Punjab yesterday.

MS Dhoni played a good hand, but he couldn’t take his team through to a win. CSK lost the first match in this IPL 2018 season.

MS Dhoni was well set on 79 runs as CSK needed 16 of the last over, Dhoni was with DJ Bravo at the crease. But CSK managed only 12 from it and lost the game.

Does MSD still have the finishing skills in him? Like in his hay days? In those days  Dhoni had finished the many matches for India with ease.

But now he has been found struggling to finish the match, whether in ODIs or in T20s Dhoni hasn’t come good as a finisher. This raises concerns for India ahead of the 2019 world cup which will be played in England and Wales.

With just 1 year to go for this world mega event, India needs youngsters to do this job and they can pick many young players through the IPL, their job has been made easy because of this cash-rich league.

Chennai Super Kings won the toss and opted to bowl first.

Kings XI Punjab opened with Chris Gayle and KL Rahul and Deepak Chachar opened the bowling for CSK.

Gayle and Rahul took on the opening bowlers and gave them a brisk opening start of 96 runs in just 7.6 overs.

CSK bowlers were too expensive, they couldn’t get a quick breakthrough which was needed.  They were smashed all over the park.

After the much needed time out, Harbhajan was brought back into the attack and took a big wicket of his last delivery.

Bhajji dismissed KL Rahul for 37 runs, on a full toss delivery Rahul went to play the drive but chips it in the air to the cover region, DJ Bravo takes a good catch. Rahul was out after giving KXIP a good start.

Mayank Agarwal was the number 3 batsman for KXIP.

Agarwal and Gayle continued to damage the CSK bowlers even after the wicket of KL Rahul.

But this damage didn’t last long for CSK, they picked up Gayle. The experience of Watson helped CSK to take this huge wicket.

Watto banged the ball in short and cramped Gayle for the room, Chris played the half-hearted pull shot and managed to get a top edge. It went straight to the short fine leg fielder where Imran Tahir took the easiest catch of his career. Gayle was out after playing a stormy inning of 68 runs.

Then the South paw came to bat, Yuvraj Singh was out in the middle as Punjab was going on well, but they lost Mayank Agarwal.

This was a big blow for KXIP, Agarwal played well but he needed to continue. He was out to Imran Tahir after playing a decent hand of 30 runs.

A leg break delivery from Tahir, Agarwal hit the shot down the ground but he couldn’t time the ball to his liking. He was caught at long on region. Jaddu takes a good catch as Agarwal goes after scoring 30 runs.

Imran Tahir struck again in that over, after removing well set Agarwal, Tahir also removes the dangerous Aaron Finch.

Finch was out very quickly. Tahir took the wicket on the second delivery of the over. Finch couldn’t read the googly bowled by Tahir, he was caught plumb in front. Finch was out on 0.

CSK had made a good comeback, they picked up 2 crucial wickets which halted the progress of KXIP.

Karun Nair was the next batsman in, he and Yuvi batted but it was for very little time.

Yuvi was out early, he didn’t anchor the innings well. Shardul Thakur picked up Yuvi’s wicket.

On crossed seamed short delivery, which had some bounce Yuvi played it towards the third man and gets a thick outside edge. Yuvi was out caught behind, he scored only 20 runs.

KXIP needed to anchor the innings well, as skipper Ashwin was the next batsman to bat with Karun Nair.

Karun batted well and did the job which Yuvraj was supposed to do.

The 33 runs stand between Ashwin and Karun Nair turned the match in KXIP’s favor.

Karun Nair took the responsibility and scored some crucial runs in last few overs, he was well supported by skipper Ashwin.

But Ashwin couldn’t stay till the end; he was dismissed in the 18th over. On a short ball Ashwin went to play a pull shot but manages to get a top edge and it went straight to MSD behind the stumps. Ashwin was out after scoring 14 runs.

Karun Nair also perished soon after Ashwin, Nair was the last man to be dismissed for KXIP.

In the last over Nair was out to DJ Bravo, Nair miscues the pull shot on a slower delivery bowled by Bravo and it went to the midwicket area where Jadeja didn’t drop that. Nair played well, he scored 29 runs.

In the end, KXIP reached a competitive score, in their 20 overs they scored 197 runs.

The Chennai bowlers bowled decently, that made a good comeback in the middle overs but they didn’t do well at the start and they couldn’t end it well.

Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir took 2 wickets with Watson, Bhajji and Bravo took 1 wicket each.

The chase of 198 runs wasn’t easy for CSK, but still, they managed to get close.

They didn’t get a good opening start as KXIP did. Watson was dismissed in the first over.

Mohit Sharma was the bowler who took the wicket, he bowled a good slower delivery that fooled Watto. Watson played the shot early and gets a tick edge which went to the short fine leg fielder Barinder. Watson goes after scoring just 11 runs.

Murali Vijay was there in the squad and Amati Rayudu was sent to bat in the middle order because of Suresh Raina’s absence.

But Vijay didn’t make this opportunity count, he got out cheaply.  He was out to Andrew Tye.

Vijay couldn’t hold on the knuckleball, he lost the timing on it and it was another catch for Barinder Iran. This time he caught Vijay at mid wicket, Vijay was out for just 12 runs.

CSK were in trouble, both the openers were back in the hut.

Sam Billings and Amabati Rayudu were expected to bat well and take the team closer to the total.

Sam Billings played well against the Kolkata Knight Riders a few days ago, he needed to go in the repeat mode.

But he was out very early than expected; he batted for a little time with Rayudu. He was out on just 9 runs.

Skipper Ashwin takes the wicket of Billings, Ashwin bowled a quicker delivery which was bang on the target. Sam was caught plumb in front.

Chennai was pushed into further trouble because of this wicket.

Dhoni was next batsman in, with CSK were in need of a partnership. They also needed MSD to showcase his class.

Dhoni and Rayudu batted well together, Rayudu was set and he went after the bowling while Dhoni was getting set.

The 57 run partnership brought the innings in control for CSK. But the target was still far. CSK needed this partnership to go long as possible.

But a run out changed everything for CSK, a direct hit from skipper Ashwin from the long on region allowed KXIP to make a good comeback. Rayudu who batted so well was involved in a mix up with skipper Dhoni. Rayudu was run out for 49 runs.

Ravindra Jadeja was the next batsman to support Dhoni at the crease, with CSK struggling to get close to the total.

With 97 runs needed of just 46 balls, CSK needed a quickfire innings from Dhoni and Jadeja.

They start the rebuilding process with the required run rate in mind, Dhoni and Jaddu shared a partnership 50 runs which allowed to go past the 150 run mark.

As the target was getting closer, CSK needed Jadeja to stay in those last crucial overs.

But Andrew Tye didn’t waste any time to remove Jadeja, Jaddu was out for 16 runs. Tye bowled a seam up, full delivery to Jadeja but he miscues it to the cover fielder Ashwin.

After Jadeja’s wicket, Bravo came in to bat with Dhoni. The match went close as expected both the teams had a chance to win this match.

Dhoni tried everything he could to take CSK home but he couldn’t score the 16 runs from the last over bowled by Mohit Sharma.

KXIP held their nerves to win this one; they won it by 4 wickets.

Dhoni was not out on 79 runs, he played well but couldn’t win the game for CSK. One might say that the finishing skills of Dhoni have been derailed.

The KXIP bowled decently, all the bowlers were expensive but still, they were on the winnings side.

Mohit Sharma and Ashwin took 1 wicket each with Andre Tye took 2 wickets to his name.

Man of the match was awarded to Chris Gayle for his 68 run knocks, which took the game away from CSK.


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