IPL 2018: In last-over thriller, Chennai lose to Punjab by 4 runs
A file photo of MS Dhoni. Photograph: (Twitter)
Despite setting a mammoth target of 198 runs, Punjab struggled to defeat Chennai as it's skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni returned to form to smash former's bowlers.
Dhoni played a captain's innings to lead his team from the front and lost the match by just 4 runs.
The wicketkeeper-batsman remained unbeaten at 79 runs to reach 193, just 5 runs short of victory.
His 44 balls innings included 6 fours and five sixes. This is Dhoni's highest total in the Indian Premier League.
Apart from him, Ambati Rayudu was the second top scorer for Chennai.
At a point, Rayudu's batting had almost taken the match away from Punjab.
But the hitter lost his wicket after he was run-out by Punjab captain Ashwin.
During Punjab innings, Chris Gayle ended his wait to bat in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) in style as he smashed a 22-ball half-century to give Punjab a rollicking start.
Gayle's 63 off 33 balls helped Punjab set 198 runs target after they were put in to bat by Chennai at home in Mohali.
The Jamaican then unleashed himself against the veteran Indian offspinner Harbhajan Singh's second over in which he hit him for 11 runs in 3 balls, including a four and a six.
In the last Powerplay over bowled by Chahar, Gayle cut loose after his opening partner KL Rahul gave the West Indian strike with a single off the first ball. The next five balls read 6, 4, 4, 1wd, 6, 0.
His innings included seven fours and four sixes.
To support Gayle was opener KL Rahul, who fashioned victory by smashing fastest ever IPL fifty.
Rahul played a superb 22 ball 37 run knock to give a decent start to the team.
Other than the two, the middle and lower order batsmen failed to contribute much.
While Yuvraj was sent back to the pavilion after making just 20 runs, Aaron finch again failed to open his account after being LBW by Tahir.
MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to field first against Ashwin-led Punjab.
Chennai, on the other hand, have clinched wins from the clutches of their opponents twice now, and they will want to put in a much improved performance.
Against Mumbai, Bravo’s end-overs pyrotechnics took them across the line. While against Kolkata, it was Sam Billings who did the rescue job.