The second phase of IPL 2021 kicked off couple of days back as Chennai Super Kings registered a thrilling victory against arch-rivals Mumbai Indians. It was quite an entertaining affair in Dubai where fans experienced a roller-coaster of emotions with the contest swinging constantly throughout the course of match. In the end, it was Thala's Yellow Army who emerged victorious and although the CSK skipper did not have a great outing with the bat, he was absolutely fantastic behind the stumps.
The 40-year-old might be in the twilight of his IPL career, but there is just no doubt about his cricket intellect, game awareness and his leadership qualities. As soon as CSK got a competitive total on board, everyone just knew that the game is on with MSD marshalling his troops in second innings. And as it turned out, Mumbai Indians had absolutely no answers against Dhoni and Co.
CSK skipper had an impressive game against Mumbai
Mahi's captaincy masterclass started when he took a successful DRS to send Quinton de Kock back to the pavilion. His decision to bring on Josh Hazlewood back into the attack in 14th over also proved to be a match-turning call as the Aussie dismissed the dangerous Kieron Pollard on the very first delivery. However, there was one more incident of Dhoni's magic which went slightly unnoticed during the match.
Chasing a target of 157 runs, MI's score read 54/3 in 9 overs when the strategic time-out was taken. The game could have gone either ways, with Ishan Kishan and Saurabh Tiwary in the middle. Unfortunately for MI, the CSK captain got some time to think and made plans for the next period of the game.
Ishan Kishan becomes victim of MSD's captaincy brilliance
After the break, Dwayne Bravo was brought into the attack and it was certain that there is a plan in place. The right-arm pacer started off with a delivery outside off as Kishan tried to drive but the ball found a thick edge and went towards the fine-leg region for a boundary. Although Kishan was happy to get away, little did he know that he was already caught in the trap!
Interestingly, Dhoni had placed one of CSK's best fielders in form of Suresh Raina at a strange position i.e. the short-cover region. Thala wanted Bravo to bowl outside off so that Kishan hits a drive. Considering the fact that pitch was slowing down, there was a chance that the MI batsman would not perfectly time his shot. And guess what, this is exactly what happened on the next delivery!
Kishan hit the ball straight into the hands of Suresh Raina and CSK got a crucial breakthrough, thanks to a captaincy masterstroke by MS Dhoni, which was perfectly executed by Bravo and Raina.
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As it turned out, Mumbai Indians could never recover from this dismissal as they eventually fell short of the target by 20 runs.