DUBAI: Mahendra Singh Dhoni played his part to perfection in an extraordinary script as he led Chennai Super Kings to their fourth Indian Premier League title, outwitting Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs in a one-sided final on Friday.
As the final delivery was bowled, the old ‘Band Master’ had that lingering smile at the far corner of his lips having orchestrated his ‘Men’, who knows may be one last time.
Unarguably, the most loved and revered Indian captain of all time led a team of old warhorses with oodles of experience as they first posted a formidable target of 192 for 3 and then squeezed Knights for only 165 for 9 despite a promising opening stand of 91 between Shubman Gill (51 off43 balls) and Venkatesh Iyer (50 off32 balls).
It was canny captaincy that ensured 91 for no loss turned into 125 for 8 and before one realised, it seemed there was only one team on the park.
Josh Hazlewood (2/29 in 4 overs), Ravindra Jadeja (2/37 in 4 overs), Shardul Thakur (3/38 in 4 overs) got the wickets at regular intervals but it was the wily old Dwayne Bravo (1/29 in 4 overs), whose first two overs for eight runs with five dots which actually became a game-changer.
Dhoni and Bravo go back a long way. The skipper knows what his ‘Go To Man’ is capable of and the ‘Champion’ knew that he had to deliver.
Not many words were exchanged between the General and his loyal soldier as they had their blueprint ready.
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