16 May 2019 10:20
As Mahendra Singh Dhoni walked up to claim his third player-of-the-match award this Indian Premier League season, the crowd broke into chants of 'Dhoni, Dhoni.' By the time, he reached Harsha Bhogle for a quick chat, the chants showed no signs of abating. Dhoni, sporting a content smile, replied: "They will stop eventually because they want to listen to what I say." And who in Chennai wouldn't want to hear Dhoni speak? As he has all season, the Chennai Super Kings skipper had once again delivered a masterclass in batting, wicketkeeping and captaincy. Part of the reason for CSK's massive 80-run victory over Delhi Capitals was down to how Shreyas Iyer's team showed little match awareness, the other part was simply down to the presence of Dhoni. Few players in world cricket command the kind of respect that Dhoni does, fewer still command the mad fan-following that Dhoni does in the IPL.
Without 'Thala,' as CSK fans like to call Dhoni, the team from Chennai seems like an ordinary one; but with him on the field, they morph into something unfathomable, something intimidating, something magical. Dhoni was a doubt for the game but with CSK's form faltering in the last two games, he decided to play despite not being at 100%. CSK have consistently got off to really poor starts. Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis were simply unable to get the ball away and by the time the Powerplay overs ended, the home side had only scored 27 runs. Suresh Raina, who has also been struggling with the bat, gave them some impetus by scoring 59 off 37 balls. It was a vital innings that saw him begin the process of taking CSK towards a competitive total. But despite that, by the time he was dismissed, the hosts had only reached 102/3 after 15 overs. Five overs on a difficult wicket would have usually meant 40-50 runs. But Ravindra Jadeja chanced his arm and got some quick runs. Perhaps more importantly, he gave Dhoni a chance to get his eye in. His 10-ball 25 kept things going in the right direction for CSK and then Dhoni took over. From 13 off 12 balls, Dhoni hammered his way to 44 off 22 balls including 21-run final over. Delhi missed Kagiso Rabada, who wasn't playing the game due to a stiff back, but that is what Dhoni does – he pinpoints weaknesses and then takes advantage of them. CSK ended up with 179/4 at the end of their 20 overs. MS Dhoni in 20th over in the IPL: Balls - 226 4s - 39 He has scored about 13% of his total IPL runs in the 20th over CSK had three spinners in the line-up and Dhoni to guide them. DC, who were the table-toppers going into the match, got off to a superb start thanks to Shikhar Dhawan and Iyer, despite losing Prithvi Shaw early. Now, they needed to pretty much follow CSK's template and keep wickets in hand for the last few overs. His innings lasted three balls – the first was worked through midwicket for a single, the second was drilled through extra cover for a four and the third was hit straight to long-off. He had a chance of controlling the chase and showing that he is more than just the big shots. Dhoni's CSK is the kind of team that waits for the opposition to make a mistake, they look to give themselves the best chance and they take it deep. Of course, none of this would be complete with a few magical Dhoni stumpings. Jadeja was the bowler and he got one to spin past Chris Morris' bat. The batsman raised his foot for a second but Dhoni whipped the bails off in that time. A couple of deliveries later, the Jadeja-Dhoni combine repeated the dose to send back Iyer. Once again, the batsman barely raised his foot but Dhoni got his timing right. "It's something that has come from tennis-ball cricket. It's important to stick to the basics," said Dhoni when asked about the stumpings. Everything Dhoni does on the cricket field has a certain logic attached to it. And when he is playing, so does CSK. CSK did a lap of honour around the MA Chidambaram stadium, the banners came into view once again, the fans cheered loudly and the team responded by hitting tennis balls as souvenirs into the stands. Mumbai Indians (MI) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) via a Super Over in the match 51 of the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) played at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The win confirms Mumbai's participation in the playoffs with 16 points from 13 games. Team Pld Won Lost Tied NR Pts NRR Chennai Super Kings (CSK) (Q) 13 9 4 0 0 18 +0.209 Mumbai Indians (MI) (Q) 13 8 5 0 0 16 +0.321 Delhi Capitals (DC) (Q) 13 8 5 0 0 16 -0.096 Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) 13 6 7 0 0 12 +0.653 Rajasthan Royals (RR) 13 5 7 o 1 11 -0.321 Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) 12 5 7 0 0 10 +0.100 Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) 12 5 7 0 0 10 -0.296 Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) 13 4 8 0 1 9 -0.694 *Q-The teams have qualified for the play-offs Catch all the IPL 2019 and other cricket action, including live scores, ball-by-ball commentaries, news updates here. IPL 2019 Orange Cap Holder: After Match 51 (MI vs SRH), David Warner (SRH) remains at the top of the run-scorers charts taking the Orange Cap in IPL 2019 with 692 runs from twelve matches at an average of 69.20 and a strike rate of 143.86 In pictures: Check out the top players who are in contention for the Orange Cap this season here. IPL 2019 Purple Cap Holder: Kagiso Rabada leads the race for the IPL 2019 Purple Cap with 25 wickets from 12 games. The Indian Premier League (IPL) this year has fans cheering for one team and one brand more than the others. This one, the first team to qualify for playoffs, has been a fan favourite since day one. "At the beginning of this IPL season, around half were hopeful that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is going to become the 2019 champion," a recent survey by public-opinion research firm YouGov revealed. "The belief remains consistent, in fact, it has grown over the five weeks of IPL." "Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), which was believed by people to be the second-best contender for the coveted trophy, has seen a decline in its popularity, and has slipped to fourth by the end of the fifth week (of the season)," the research showed. In the last 11 installments of IPL, CSK's track record has been impressive. The team led by former India team captain MS Dhoni made it to the finals seven times and won the series thrice. This year, IPL began on March 23. A massive event, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is poised to mint Rs20 crore ($2.9 million) from gate money during the playoff games. The 12th edition of the games clocked up over 219 million viewers for the first three matches on TV. Because of its wide reach, IPL has come to be a hotbed for advertising. "When asked about which brands people recall the most as advertisers/sponsors in IPL, Dream 11 emerged on the top," YouGov noted. IPL's fantasy cricket league will be hosted by Dream11, too. Between winning the contract for the title sponsorship before last year's IPL and now, Chinese manufacture Vivo has doubled its smartphone sales in India to 4.5 million. Delhi Capitals (DC) suffered yet another collapse, losing six wickets for just 22 runs after the powerplay overs, against Chennai Super Kings in the 50th match of IPL 2019 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, on Wednesday. In a span of just 5.4 overs while chasing 180 to win, DC eventually succumbed to 99 all out, losing the match by 80 runs. In the 6th over of Delhi's innings, CSK veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh was on fire after taking the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan. Suresh Raina went past Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir in an elite Indian Premier League (IPL) list after scoring a brilliant fifty during the match between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals on Wednesday. This was the 37th half century for Raina and he is joint second with Shikhar Dhawan in the list of batsmen with the most number of IPL fifties. David Warner tops the charts with 44 half centuries. Most 50s (scores from 50 to 99) in a IPL career Raina steadied the CSK innings after they lost Shane Watson early and the left-hander was able to bring up his fifty in 34 balls. Raina struck a fighting half-century before MS Dhoni provided a late push with an unbeaten 44 as Chennai Super Kings overcame a slow start to post a fighting 179 for four against Delhi Capitals. Raina (59) and Faf du Plessis (39) added 83 runs for the second wicket to revive the innings after Delhi Capitals bowlers produced tight spells upfront. Later, skipper MS Dhoni, who returned to the side after recovering from a bout of fever, and Ravindra Jadeja added some quick runs to provide a late flourish to the innings. Dhoni hit unbeaten 44 off 22 balls with four fours and three sixes while Jadeja smashed 25 off 10 with two sixes.