The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 has had some nail-biting finishes in the last few days and today was no exception. With 21 required off the final over, Sandeep Sharma held his nerve to had Rajasthan Royals (RR) their first win at Chepauk over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) since 2008. MS Dhoni (32* off 17) and Ravindra Jadeja (25* off 15) nearly took CSK over the line, but in the end, it was too much to do even by their lofty standards.
With this win, RR go top of the IPL 2023 table with three wins from four games, while CSK are in fifth with two wins and two losses from four matches.
Speaking after the match, Sanju Samson said that no total is ever safe when MS Dhoni is in the opposition line-up. CSK needed 40 runs from the final two overs and in the end, they fell just three runs short.
"You have to give credit to the boys. The bowlers kept their cool at the end and bowled really well, we also held on to our catches. I don't have good memories at Chepauk, never won here and wanted to win today," Samson said at the post-match presentation.
"Last two overs were tense, I tried to push it deep but you are never safe with that guy (Dhoni). You have to have respect for that guy and to what he can do. Nothing works against him."
Chasing 176, Dhoni rued the fact that there wasn't enough strike rotation in the middle-overs with the RR spinners bowling well in tandem. With Adam Zampa induced as an impact sub, RR had three quality spin options with the other two being Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin.
"I think in the middle overs we needed a bit more strike rotation, there wasn't much for the spinners but they had experienced spinners and we could not rotate strike. It was not that difficult and the ownership [of the loss] should come from the batters," Dhoni said.
"It was good that we could reach striking distance [of the target] as we were the last pair. It really affects NRR when you get to the last phase of the tournament."
RR in action next against Gujarat Titans (GT) in Ahmedabad on Sunday (April 16), while CSK take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Monday (April 17) in Bengaluru.