Led by their talisman Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) did a special lap of honour around the Chepauk to thank the home crowd after their IPL 2023 match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Chennai on Sunday night (May 14).
Even as the spectators went berserk at seeing their favourite player leading their team out after the game, batting great Sunil Gavaskar ran up to the two-time World Cup-winning captain for an autograph.
Probably playing in his last IPL, Dhoni, holding a racquet in one hand, was also seen hitting some balls into the crowd before tossing a few jerseys in that direction.
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The policemen at the venue also had their moments as they shook hands with Dhoni before getting his autographs.
Also, CSK players held posters, both in English and Tamil, thanking the fans for their support.
The game, however, did not turn out the way CSK would have liked as they lost by six wickets.
Dhoni said the conditions, including dew, had a big impact on the match.
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“The dew made a big difference in the second innings. We can’t really blame any of our bowlers. Just that the conditions had a big impact on the game,” Dhoni, who waved to the crowd, said at the post-match presentation.
“When we bowled the first ball in the second innings, we knew we needed 180. But there was no way we could have got 180 on that pitch.”
Batting first after winning the toss, CSK could only make 144 for six. Shivam Dube top-scored with an unbeaten 48 off 34 balls at the Chepauk, while there were two wickets apiece for KKR spinners Sunil Narine (2/15) and Varun Chakravarthy (2/36).
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Chasing 145 for victory, KKR faced some early hiccups before reaching the target in 18.3 overs with Rinku Singh and skipper Nitish Rana making 54 and unbeaten 57 respectively.
Speaking about Dube, Dhoni said, “Very happy with what Shivam has done, but important thing is that he is not satisfied and keeps improving.”
Winning captain Rana was relieved with the outcome.
“The ball didn’t turn in the second innings. Credit to our spinners for how well they bowled. I always felt that if I or Rinku could hold one end up, we will chase this down. Thats what happened,” Rana said.