Punjab Kings’s Rishi Dhawan held his nerve to defend 27 in the last over against the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja.
Dhoni did unleash his fireworks, hitting a boundary and a six, but Dhawan had the last laugh as the Chennai Super Kings fell short by 11 runs in the game against Punjab at the Wankhede stadium on Monday, April 25, 2022, night.
- CSK-PBKS Scorecard
Play his first IPL game in six years, Rishi shone with the ball for Punjab Kings.
After picking up the wicket of the in-form Shivam Dube in his first spell wherein he went for just 24 in 3 overs, the 32 year old had the unenviable task of bowling the last over.
Add to that the sea of CSK supporters chanting Thala‘s name, hoping for an encore like Dhoni did against the Mumbai Indians in the last over the other night.
With a terrific display of bowling earlier at the death, Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh had presented Rishi with the luxury of bowling the 20th over with 27 runs for Dhoni and Jadeja to get.
Rishi, who captains Himachal Pradesh in domestic cricket, brought all his experience to thwart Dhoni from pulling off another stunning chase.
The final over did not start well for Rishi as Dhoni hit a short ball into the stands at deep backward square leg.
Rishi then got the line wrong, but Dhoni could not time the ball and the CSK legend was caught at deep mid-wicket where Jonny Bairstow smiled and threw the ball in the air. It was Game over for CSK!
Earlier, CSK began their run chase on a woeful note as they lost Robin Uthappa (1) in the first over, followed by Mitchell Santner (9) in the second. The defending champions were reduced to 40 for 3 in seven overs.
CSK veteran Ambati Rayudu and Ruturaj Gaikwad then showed their class, attacking the Punjab bowlers.
The equation came down to 47 in 24 balls after Rayudu, who produced a breathtaking innings of 78 from 39 balls, hit 23 runs in the 16th over bowled by Sandeep Sharma.
But Arshdeep Singh conceded just six runs in the next over and eight in the 19th to tilt the scales towards Punjab.
Rabada showered praise on Rishi for holding his nerves against arguably the greatest finisher in one-day cricket.
‘Rishi, coming back and bowling that final over. He put his hand up,’ KG said after the game. ‘It’s still a bit nerve-wracking when you’re bowling at M S Dhoni, and there’s not one red shirt in the crowd, only yellow shirts chanting his name.’
‘But he held his nerve and came out on top. Huge credit to him.’
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