How M.S. Dhoni sets up the end game

Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed an unbeaten 44 off 22 balls — which included two huge sixes in the last over — after a sluggish start against Delhi Capitals on Wednesday.

Chennai Super Kings skipper M.S. Dhoni in action against Delhi Capitals at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday.   -  AFP

M.S. Dhoni and last ball sixes is a story that plays time and again. Last over and Dhoni is synonymous.

The Chennai Super Kings skipper once again roared at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium with an unbeaten 44 off 22 balls (4X4, 6X3) at a strike-rate of 200 to help his side post a challenging 179/4 against Delhi Capitals on Wednesday.

At the toss, Dhoni admitted that he still had 'weakness' after recovering from viral fever but he showed no signs of discomfort while batting.

The start

CSK got off to a sluggish start after being asked to bat. Shane Watson got dismissed for a duck, Faf du Plessis struggled to time the ball and Suresh Raina was trying to find his feet. The first boundary came after 26 deliveries.

At the end of the PowerPlay, CSK managed to garner just 27 runs off 6 overs at 4.5 runs per over. The team's 50 came at the end of the ninth over and Du Plessis hit the first six of the innings in the 13th over. While Raina kept the scoreboard ticking, Du Plessis fell prey to Axar Patel; in walked Dhoni to a thunderous applause.

CSK vs DC match highlights

The build-up

Axar bowled a flighted delivery, beating Dhoni; stumper Rishabh Pant took the bails off but the skipper was safe.

Dhoni kept picking singles allowing Raina to go for his shots. Raina fell soon laying the foundation for Dhoni to attack in the death overs.

The flourish

Dhoni scored his first boundary in the eighth delivery he faced. He targeted the fine leg boundary and was successful as he picked two fours.

The engine had warmed up and ready to accelerate.

Ravindra Jadeja departed after playing a little cameo [25 off 10 balls] and Dhoni was set to take CSK past 150.

It all started with a Chris Morris no-ball that Dhoni swung hard and the ball just managed to clear the fine leg boundary. CSK reached 150 in the penultimate over and it was time for Trent Boult to face the music in the final over.

The finish

Boult started off with a dot ball, Dhoni collected a couple in the second delivery and then smacked a yorker straight down the ground for a boundary. A single off the fourth got Ambati Rayudu on strike. Boult then bowled a wide, and Dhoni was off for a single much to the surprise of the bowler. A six over deep mid-wicket in the fifth ball took CSK to 173. And then, he had to hit a last-ball six [over deep square leg this time] to keep up to the reputation.

Job done.