CSK vs RR: MS Dhoni's heroics set up Chennai Super Kings' victory against Rajasthan Royals


Dhoni paced his innings beautifully, scoring unbeaten 75 off 46 balls to lead CSK to a competitive 175/5Rajasthan Royals could manage 167 for 8, suffering their third defeat in as many matchesDwayne Bravo bowled a brilliant last over, defending 12 runs that Royals needed to score to clai

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MS Dhoni

's unbeaten 75 off 46 balls and Dwayne Bravo's composure with the ball at the death paved the way for 

Chennai Super Kings

' eight-run victory against 

Rajasthan Royals

 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday.



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While Dhoni set up the victory with an attacking innings that helped CSK post 175 for 5 after being 27 for 3 at one stage, Bravo delivered the finishing touch as he prevented RR from getting 12 runs off the last over.

Chasing 176, Royals were up against it after losing a cluster of wickets early on to be reduced to 14/3. While Rahane was dismissed for 0 off just the second ball of the innings, Sanju Samson (8) and Jos Buttler (6) didn't fare much better. Rahul Tripathi

(39) and Steve Smith (28) did give them a glimmer of hope with a 61-run stand for the fourth wicket, but the result seemed to be a foregone conclusion once those two departed.

Stokes and Archer, however, had other ideas. Needing 56 from 23 balls when they came together, Archer started the RR fightback when he plundered Shardul Thakur for a four and six in the space of five balls. Dwayne Bravo was called up to deliver the 18th over, but he too bore the brunt of Stokes and Archer as he conceded 19 runs including two sixes to bring the equation down to 25 from the last two overs.

Dhoni persisted with Thakur for the penultimate over instead of opting for Mitchell Santner or Ravindra Jadeja given the dew factor and the risk of bowling a left-arm spinner to a left-hander. The Indian seamer couldn't get his lengths right, however, and was easy pickings for Stokes, who played a nonchalant pull behind square for six. But Bravo had the final word in the end.

Earlier, Dhoni thrived in difficult circumstances and led by example with the bat.

On a pitch which was once again slow in nature but became easier for batting as the dew kicked in, Dhoni knew he had to be sensible at the start. He certainly was, ambling to 10 from his first 13 balls. Suresh Raina, at the other end, wasn't as averse to taking risks, notably smashing leggie Shreyas Gopal for a six over wide long-on.

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