An edge-of-the-seat thriller in Jaipur saw Chennai Super Kings (CSK) beat Rajasthan Royals (RR) on the final ball of the game courtesy a six from Mitchell Santner off Ben Stokes. Chasing a moderate 152 to win, CSK were reduced to 24/4 before MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu put up a resurrection act. Dhoni was cleaned up in an eventful final over by Ben Stokes but Santner kept his cool amidst a squabble over an umpiring decision and smoked the last ball for six to win Chennai the game.
Here are the best moments from the match.
Dhoni drops a catch!
From duping batsmen with his pyrotechnics behind the stumps to pulling off insane stumpings, Dhoni is lauded as a wonderful keeper with incredibly fast hands. Yet, on Thursday, he showed just how human he is when he dropped Rahul Tripathi.
In the eighth over of the Rajasthan innings, Mitchell Santner forced an outside edge from Tripathi with a ball that turned sharply away from the right-hander. Tripathi's hesitant prod caught the edge of the bat but the CSK skipper couldn't react quickly enough to a fairly big deflection and gave his former Rising Pune Supergiant colleague a life. Tripathi, though, couldn't make it count and was dismissed in the next over.
Archer stuns ball-watching Raina
Jofra Archer is known for pulling off blinders in the cricketing field and the Australians had a glimpse of his ridiculous athletic abilities in the Big Bash League. At Jaipur in the match against Chennai Super Kings, Archer produced a spectacular effort to run Suresh Raina out.
In the second over of the run-chase, the CSK batsman nudged Jaydev Unadkat straight to Jofra Archer at fine leg and took off for a quick single. His partner, Faf du Plessis, was quick to get to the danger end but Raina seemed to be ball-watching as Archer picked up the ball and threw down the stumps at the non-striker's end.
Stokes takes a screamer
Ben Stokes had an eventful night in Jaipur but clouded amidst the bad memories is probably one sensational catch he took to send back Kedar Jadhav early in the chase. At 15/3, it appeared as though Chennai Super Kings had no place to hide when they decimated further courtesy a rip-roaring catch from Ben Stokes at point.
Jofra Archer bowled a short delivery outside off-stump and Jadhav went full throttle with the cut shot but couldn't keep it down. Ben Stokes, at point, leaped full stretch to his left and caught the ball while being airborne and held onto it safely. The catch of the season, though, was soon overshadowed by a thrilling final over in which Stokes donned the villain avatar yet again. We all know the last time that happened.
Ravindra Jadeja's physics-defying maximum
Although 18 runs were needed in the final over, CSK would have backed themselves to gun down the score given that MS Dhoni was out in the middle. However, they had a problem. After hitting a boundary off the final ball of the penultimate over, Dhoni wasn't on strike.
But Ravindra Jadeja more than made up for this when he went on all fours to slam Stokes down the ground for a six off the first ball of the final over. The England seamer had aimed for a wide yorker and missed marginally. Jadeja was up to the task and even though he lost balance in the process, got enough wood on the ball to clear the straight boundary.
Funnily, Stokes had also fallen after his delivery stride and as the ball soared into the night sky, both batsman and bowler were down on the ground. MS Dhoni was seen going down to Jadeja's end to cheekily smack him on the helmet a couple of times with the bat.
A colossal umpiring error, Dhoni breaking the law and Santner settling matters
A controversy-marred final over saw yet another umpiring blunder. After Dhoni was cleaned up by a toe-crusher from Stokes, the game appeared all but over for Chennai Super Kings. But Mitchell Santner was greeted by a full toss above waist, which the umpire at the bowler's end, Ulhas Gandhe, called a no-ball. His colleague, Bruce Oxenford, though over-ruled the call and declared it wasn't a no-ball, much to Chennai's dismay.
In the fracas that ensued, MS Dhoni walked out to the middle, clearly unimpressed by the umpiring.
A player from outside walking in to express dissent over an umpiring decision should surely qualify for a sanction and Dhoni was later docked 50 percent of his match fees as the law states that “arguing or entering into a prolonged discussion with the Umpire about his decision” (Article 2.1.5 (h)) is not tolerated.
Amidst all this clamour, CSK still needed four to win off the final ball and Mitchell Santner sealed the game with a towering six over long-on to make the controversial umpiring call redundant. Ben Stokes was at the receiving end of yet another heist in the final over and CSK romped home for their sixth win of the season.