Watch: MS Dhoni rolled back the clock in style to close down a tricky chase with a trademark final-ball finish, hitting 16 runs off the final four deliveries to take Chennai Super Kings past Mumbai Indians in IPL 2022.
The 40-year-old Dhoni, who retired from international cricket in 2020 and now plies his trade exclusively in the IPL, walked in to bat right before the 15-over mark, with CSK needing 30 runs off the final five, with as many wickets in hand. Skipper Ravindra Jadeja’s dismissal in the following over made the equation even trickier, leaving them on 114-6 after 17, with 42 needed off the final 18.
A couple of lusty blows from Dwaine Pretorius kept Chennai alive, but the target still looked steep ahead of the final over, with 17 required off the final six, and Dhoni still warming up with a 9-ball 12. Left-armer Jaydev Unadkat, tasked with the last over, removed Pretorius, leaving Dhoni on strike with 16 to get off the last four balls.
Dhoni whacked the next ball, full and straight, over the bowler’s head and into the long-off stands to keep the chase alive. The next ball – a cross-seamed bouncer – took the top edge of the blade and flew over short fine-leg’s head for a four, bringing the equation down to single digits. A swift couple to deep mid-wicket brought down the equation to four off the final ball.
Unadkat’s low full-toss, almost on Dhoni’s ankles, was swiped away to the leg-side, beating a chasing short fine-leg fielder to bring an end to an incredible chase. Dhoni raised his bat to the crowd, acknowledging the loud cheers, and was greeted by an ecstatic set of teammates.
It was only Chennai’s second win in seven games. Mumbai have now lost seven on the bounce, the first team in IPL history to suffer such a streak.
IPL 2022 Points Table: Here are the updated team standings, along with points and net run-rate