When Mahendra Singh Dhoni walked in to bat for the last ball of the 16th over,the Chennai Super Kings innings was heading nowhere. While the Chennai openers regular man Faf du Plessis and newly-promoted S Badrinath trudged along at slightly over a run a ball for the first 15 overs,the Pune Warriors seemed more than satisfied with the fact that no wickets had fallen until then,as the CSK run-rate at the point read 7.66.
Then,Pune off-spinner Marlon Samuels did what in retrospect he shouldn’t have claim both the openers in the same over. Du Plessis was dismissed for a 48-ball 58,and two balls later,he sent back the snail-paced (srtictly in T20 terms) Badri for a 48-ball 57. At the end of the 16th,CSK had accumulated just 116 runs for the loss of two wickets. Then,just 24 balls later,they had 164. The match was lost by the visitors in exactly that period.
Dhoni,having promoted himself to No.4,butchered the most valuable 28 runs he has scored in this edition,doing so in just 12 balls. A low flying helicopter nearly crashed into Ashish Nehra’s bowling frame to end the nineteenth,but as the bowler ducked out of the way to relative safety,the ball dented into the hoardings. After that,there was no looking back for Dhoni. With 18 more runs from the last over,CSK had propelled themselves on to a daunting score,one that Pune never looked like achieving.
At the fall of skipper Sourav Gangulys wicket during the reply,Pune found themselves at 64/4 in the 10th over. Then,something really interesting happened. The Pune middle-order Samuels,Steven Smith and Angelo Mathews based their rescue act on imitating the Chennai opening stand. Samuels scored a 24-ball 26,Smith nudged 23 runs from 21 balls,and Mathews collected a 22-ball 27,as they took Pune to 140 in 18 overs. But with no Dhoni act at the end of the Pune innings,they fell 13 runs short in the final over.
Brief scores: Chennai 164/5 (F du Plessis 58,S Badrinath 57,MS Dhoni 28*,M Samuels 3/39,A Nehra 2/23) vs Pune 151/7 (M Samuels 26,A Mathews 27,N Kulasekara 2/10,D Bravo 2/28)