Chennai, Apr 21: A last-ball thriller ended in Chennai Super Kings victory as skipper MS Dhoni hit two runs off the final ball to secure a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Chasing a low target of 147, the Super Kings began brightly with in-form batsman Faf du Plessis scored his third fifty. du Plessis' knock yet again proved crucial after laying a strong foundation for MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo to finish off towards the end.
A thriller was not on the cards as man-of-the-match du Plessis smashed 73 off 52 balls with six fours and two sixes. Opening pair of du Plessis and S Badrinath added 55, while a brief innings from Suresh Raina (26) provided stability after Badrinath's dismissal.
Raina, however, failed to stay till the end while trying to hit Kevon Cooper over the stands but fell short for a simple catch Ajinkya Rahane in the deep.
Rajasthan speedster Cooper sent shockwaves around the stadium after taking two wicket in three balls in the 17th over, du Plessis and Raina were dismissed in alternate balls.
But one of the best finishers in international cricket MS Dhoni with the help of Dwayne Bravo added 30 runs in 21 balls to clinch a last-ball thriller to help CSK secure two back-to-back victories in IPL 5.
Rajasthan Royals Innings Report:
After a firing start from openers Ajinkya Rahane and skipper Rahul Dravid, a brilliant 92-run partnership for the fourth wicket between English batsman Owais Shah and Ashok Maneria took Rajasthan Royals to a total of 146/4 against Chennai Super Kings.
Chennai bowlers restricted Rajathan to their second lowest total this season, as off-spinner R Ashwin and Sri Lankan pacer Nuwan Kulasekara came out with impressive bowling figures.
Openers Rahane and Dravid started well but failed to stick to the crease as Rahane (15) departed off Ashwin's delivery while Dravid made a steady 26 before being caught in the deep off Shadab Jakati's bowling.
Owais Shah scored a vital 52 to reach his third fifty for the Royals which helped them put up a decent total against the defending champions, while Ashok Menaria added 36 smashing three fours and a six.
Kulasekara claimed Shah's wicket in the Last ball of the innings conceding only four runs.
Rajasthan Royals skipper Rahul Dravid has won the toss and decided to bat first against Chennai Super Kings in Game 26 of IPL 5 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.
The Royals have made three changes coming into this game, Kevon Cooper has recovered from his injury and will replace Johan Botha while Stuart Binny and Sreevats Goswani get a match in place of Pankaj Singh and Dishant Yagnik.
MS Dhoni and Co have retained the same playing XI with a strong bowling attack to restrict Rajasthan's formidable batting line-up.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (Captain & Wicketkeeper) S Badrinath, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Nuwan Kulasekara, Shadab Jakati, Doug Bollinger.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (Captain) Ajinkya Rahane, Sreevets Goswami (Wicketkeeper), Ashok Menaria, Owais Shah, Brad Hodge, Stuart Binny, Kevon Cooper, Brad Hogg, Amit Singh, Siddarth Trivedi.
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Bruce Oxenford (Australia)
Third umpire: Anil Chowdhury (India)
Match referee: Javagal Srinath (India)