Cricket fans at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru became witnesses to yet another vintage Dhoni knock on Sunday. MSD, popularly known as ‘Thala’ by his Chennai Super Kings (CSK) fans, was at his absolute best as he nearly pulled off one of the greatest chases in the history of Indian Premier League (IPL). During an IPL 2019 game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), CSK while chasing 162, were on the mat losing four wickets in the first six overs and it seemed that the visitors would soon give up and will face defeat by a huge margin.
However, Dhoni single-handedly brought his side back into the match with stunning innings of unbeaten 84 (48 balls), which was studded with five fours and seven sixes. With 26 needed off the final over, bowled by Umesh Yadav, RCB looked to have the game under their kitty. However, the 37-year-old went berserk, smashing 24 runs off the first five balls and gave his side the hope of confirming their playoffs berth. He missed the final delivery and Parthiv Patel affected a run out to give the home team a very important victory.
The knock by Dhoni was appreciated by many with RCB skipper Virat Kohli saying: “MS did what he does best and he gave us all a massive scare.” Former Indian batsman Mohammad Kaif wrote on Twitter: “That was special from Dhoni. 26 needed off the last over and nearly pulling it off. “Former left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi said that Star Sports should come out with a disclaimer “You will skip your heartbeat” whenever Dhoni is batting in the final over.
Commentator Harsha Bhogle tweeted: “Uff! Some game! Cricket needs Dhoni to write its scripts.” Krishnamachari Srikkanth also praised Dhoni’s knock and said: “What a knock by MS Dhoni, you just feel for him after being so close yet so far! Almost pulled off a miracle but now the cracks in CSKs batting is clear, need someone to support him up the order. What a match in the end.” Cricketer-turned-commentator Dean Jones termed MS Dhoni “a freak”.
“For all practical reasons that were a Super match and will go down in history as a legendary one! Thank you, Thala! This is incredible!” wrote CSK on their official Twitter handle.