Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni came up with another brilliant cameo – this time hammering 20 off 9 balls in a low-scoring encounter against Delhi Capitals – to list his side to a 27-run win at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday. The win takes CSK to the brink of IPL 2023 Playoffs qualification as they now have 15 points from 12 matches and a couple of matches in hand as well.
Dhoni has been specializing in whirlwind cameos in the IPL 2023 season, with a strike-rate of 204.25 this year – far and away the best for CSK this year – with 10 sixes already to his name. In a game where every batter struggled to push the run-rate on the sluggish Chepauk pitch, Dhoni and Shivam Dube were the only batters to break free. Dhoni hammered 6, 4 and 6 off DC pacer Khaleel Ahmed in a match-turning 19th over of the CSK innings which produced 21 runs and ultimately put the target beyond the reach of David Warner’s side.
WATCH MS Dhoni hammer 16 runs off Khaleel Ahmed at the Chepauk HERE…
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When @msdhoni cut loose! _ _
Thanks to Dhoni’s fireworks at the end and Shivam Dube’s 12-ball 25 before him, CSK posted 167 for 8 after electing to bat first. DC could only managed 140 for 8 with their skipper Warner dismissed for a second-ball duck by Deepak Chahar. Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers claiming 1/19 while Matheesha Pathirana picked up 3/37 in 4 overs.
Dhoni said after the match that he would much rather prefer to hit sixes than run between the wickets. “My job is to hit a few deliveries. Don’t make me run a lot. Happy to contribute whatever deliveries I am getting. That is how I am practising as well,” Dhoni said in the post-match presentation.
The CSK skipper admitted that the ball turned a lot in the second innings of the game in Chepauk which made the chase harder for DC. “It turned a lot in the second half. Our spinners use the seam more than other bowlers. I wanted the bowlers to bowl their best deliveries but not go looking for wickets. We can still do better as a batting unit. There were a few shots you are better off avoiding on this pitch. There were a couple where the execution was not right; we can live with that. Good thing is, Moeen (Ali) and Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) got to bat. As we get closer to the last phase, everyone has a few deliveries under their belt,” Dhoni added.