RCB denies Dhoni’s fairytale farewell to steal playoffs spot

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Winning a rare toss in a must-win clash, Chennai Super Kings captain Ruturaj Gaikwad decided to field first. After a cautious first over, RCB openers Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli began attacking Shardul Thakur and Tushar Deshpande. However, rain halted play for forty minutes with RCB at 31/0 in three overs.

Once the game resumed, the spinners troubled the batters with extra bounce and turn, slowing RCB’s run rate to seven runs per over by the seventh over. Ravindra Jadeja then conceded 40 runs in his three overs, pushing RCB to 98/1 in eleven overs.

Faf du Plessis scored a half-century before his unfortunate dismissal, followed by a 71-run stand between Cameron Green and Rajat Patidar that teed off the CSK bowlers. Late cameos from Dinesh Karthik and Glenn Maxwell propelled RCB to 218/5 in 20 overs.

In response, CSK had a shaky start with Glenn Maxwell removing Ruturaj Gaikwad on the first ball, and Daryl Mitchell getting out in the third over. Rachin Ravindra and Ajinkya Rahane then steadied the innings, leading CSK to a 58-run powerplay.

Their partnership extended to 76 runs before Lockie Ferguson dismissed Rahane with a slower ball, followed by Ravindra’s departure in the 13th over, leaving CSK at 115/4. Shivam Dube and Mitchell Santner fell in consecutive overs, putting CSK in trouble.

With Dhoni entering and Jadeja holding the fort until the 17th over, CSK needed 68 runs to win and 51 runs for playoff qualification. Dhoni and Jadeja hit two sixes and as many fours in the next two overs, reducing the qualification requirement to 17 runs off the final over.

Dhoni hit a six off the first ball, but Yash Dayal held his nerve, dismissing Dhoni and conceding just one run in the remaining four deliveries. Eventually, RCB won the game by 27 runs, unexpectedly securing a spot in the playoffs.

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