At the toss, Rohit was his usual cheerful self, but his lack of an impactful innings is becoming increasingly alarming. Left-armer Mukesh Choudhary chipped a full ball angling in from the captain to mid-on for a two-ball nought. Choudhary bowled a probing opening over, with each ball pitched high and aiming towards the stumps. Kishan misplayed one of these deliveries, causing him to fall down along with the soaring off-stump.

Ravindra Jadeja squandered two opportunities, Ishan Kishan fell down after missing a rather straightforward ball, and Ruturaj Gaikwad gave away a first-ball half-tracker straight to backward point. Nonetheless, the typical MS Dhoni houdini manoeuvre ended this gritty match on a thrilling DY Patil Stadium surface.

Dhoni, with a six straight down the ground, a draw for four, a hustling double, and a heave off a low full delivery beyond short fine leg, put CSK over the line in a way few others can. For their second win of the season, the holders got to MI’s 155/7 with three wickets to spare. The loss was Michigan’s sixth in a row. In the last seven seasons, teams have snuck into the playoffs with 14 points, but it looks to be a wasted dream for this MI squad. When Dhoni tried a huge shot in the following over, he lost Jadeja, only for Dwaine Pretorius (22,14b) to swing a few and reduce the score to 17 off the last over.

With Jadeja pulling out of a skier rushing back from cover to give Dewald Brevis a life, it might have been three in two for MI. It didn’t matter, since Choudhary’s cutter soon caught up to the rushing South African. Suryakumar Yadav, one of MI’s top batters this season, looked the part early on, but top-edged a Mitchell Santner sweep to a finer deep square leg two overs after a similar shot sailed into the stands. Tilak Varma, who was also dropped by Dwayne Bravo at slip on 2, and Hrithik Shokeen, a 21-year-old rookie, guided MI from 49/4 to 85/4 when Bravo dismissed Shokeen for a run-a-ball 25.

Pollard, who had recently retired from international cricket, hit one over far-on, but he holed out to a straight boundary rider positioned between long off and long on, thanks to some good old street-smart CSK tactics—perhaps with a hint of Dhoni. MI’s total reached 150 only after late blows from Varma, who reached his fifty in 42 balls, and Unadkat, who put on a 35-run eighth-wicket partnership in 16 balls.

Source: Hindustan Times