In an absolute humdinger of a match, Chennai Super Kings escaped with a sensational four-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in Match 25 in the Indian Premier League at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. With MS Dhoni leading from the front, the CSK skipper and Ambati Rayudu hit fifties before Mitchell Santner hit the winning runs for CSK at the death.
The win comes as a sweet victory for Dhoni as he becomes the first captain in the IPL to win 100 matches. In absolute drama in the last over, Ben Stokes caved in under pressure as Ravindra Jadeja and Santner scored the winning runs with 18 required in the last over of the match.
While Rajasthan were in control right from the start of the chase, the bowlers removed the top order and were cruising till Rayudu and Dhoni started blasting shots all over the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Earlier, CSK produced yet another disciplined bowling effort to restrict Rajasthan Royals to a modest 151 for seven.
Save Jos Buttler (23 off 10 balls) at the top of the order, none of other Royals batsmen looked the part as CSK skipper Dhoni's immaculate reading of the track once again helped the defending champions.
Left-arm spin duo Ravindra Jadeja (2/20 in 4 overs) and Mitchell Santner (1/25 in 4 overs) checked the run-flow as Royals batsmen were always playing a catch-up game.
Even Imran Tahir (0/28 in 4 overs), who went for a few more runs compared to the other two spinners, ended with decent enough figures.
Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane (14 off 11) failed once again with seamer Deepak Chahar (2/33 in 4 overs) trapping him leg before.
Buttler belted Shardul Thakur (2/44 in 4 overs) for a few boundaries before he mistiming one which was easily caught by Ambati Rayudu.
Once Buttler was gone, Royals lost the momentum as wickets fell at regular intervals. Steve Smith (15,22 balls) struggled once again as he slog-swept Ravindra Jadeja towards deep mid-wicket only to find Rayudu. Samson also top-edged a sweep which was caught by substitute fielder Dhruv Shorey.
Rahul Tripathi's struggles in the middle-order continued while Ben Stokes' 28 off 26 balls wasn't good enough.
It was Shreyas Gopal, who struck a few meaty blows en route his 19 off 7 balls to take the target past 150 despite the home team playing as many as 42 dot balls.
(With PTI Inputs)