Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit 16 runs off the last four balls as Chennai Super Kings recorded a narrow three-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.
Dhoni took the game deep into the final over before smashing left-arm fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat for 6-4-2-4 and carried Chennai to 156-7 with his unbeaten match-winning knock of 28 off 13 balls.
Mumbai’s seventh straight loss all but ended the team’s hopes of reaching the playoffs.
The frustrated Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma pulled his cap over his face when Dhoni raised the victory with a flicked boundary to fine leg off Unadkat’s well-directed yorker.
Mumbai’s problem upfront in the batting continued and despite Chennai dropping four catches and Dhoni missing out on a stumping chance it managed to restrict Rohit’s team to 155-7.
“Actually we were very tense, the way the game was going,” said Chennai skipper Ravindra Jadeja, who dropped two of four catches. “He (Dhoni) showed the world that he’s still here and he can finish the game. We need to do some work on our fielding and take catches because we can’t keep dropping catches in every game.”
Fast bowler Mukesh Chaudhry (3-19) blew away Mumbai’s top-order by claiming the wickets of Rohit and Ishan Kishan in space of only five balls into the match.
Rohit became the first batter in IPL history to get out for zero for the 14th time when he offered a tame catch to mid-off, and Kishan was clean bowled off a perfect yorker off the first ball he faced.
Mumbai could have lost two more wickets to left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner in the second over, but Jadeja dropped a skier of Dewald Brevis, and Dhoni missed out on a stumping of Suryakumar Yadav.
Dwayne Bravo then dropped a chest-high catch in the slip of top-scorer Tilak Varma (51 not out) in Chaudhry’s second over while young Hrithik Shokeen made run-a-ball 25 to steady Mumbai’s innings.
But Dhoni made amends in Chaudhry’s second over when he had Brevis caught behind as Mumbai slipped to 3-23 in three overs.
Although Mumbai lost Kieron Pollard for 14, Unadkat played a little cameo of 19 off 9 balls and lifted Mumbai’s total in the death overs.
Australian fast bowler Daniel Sams grabbed 4-30 and ran through Chennai’s top order with Shokeen (0-23) also tying down the batters with his off-spin bowling in his debut T20 game.
Dwaine Pretorius (22) hit two fours and a six before Unadkat had the South African trapped leg before wicket through television referral. Still, Dhoni kept his usual calm off the final four deliveries and carried Chennai to its second win from seven games.
“In the end it was a great fight from us, we were right in the game,” Rohit said. “I thought until the last over, we had them under pressure. But in the end, MS and Pretorius, they were quite calm and got them home.”
Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja was seen doffing his hat to MS Dhoni after sensational batting from the former skipper.