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Dhoni bhai wanted to hit the first ball out of the park vs RCB, says Rayudu

India Today logo India Today 27-04-2018 Ranit Das
MS Dhoni played a match-winning knock vs RCB © AP MS Dhoni played a match-winning knock vs RCB

Ambati Rayudu is in the middle of a purple patch and he is enjoying batting with Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the two of them played key knocks for Chennai Super Kings to seal a victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday.

Rayudu and MS Dhoni forged a stand of 101 runs for the fifth wicket at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru as CSK chased down another total over 200 to go on top of the Indian Premier League table.

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CSK, who were 74/4 from 9 overs and were struggling to get the runs on a track that had some turn for the spinners. With Umesh Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal bowling tightly, Chennai were staring down the barell. That was in Dhoni walked in and hit a towering six on the second ball he faced off Pawan Negi. The statement was made and it was loud and clear -- MSD is not hear to mess around.

Mahi continued to play sensibly and attack the bowlers whenever the ball was there to be hit until the final overs, when he launched into Mohammed Siraj and Corey Anderson towards the dying end of the innings.

And Rayudu's innings played a perfect foil to MSD's game. Speaking about their plans, the Hyderabad, who was out for a 53-ball 82, said: "After losing 4 wickets, we were thinking of constructing the innings and the way Dhoni bhai came to the middle and the tempo, from the first ball, he wanted to hit the ball out of the park, I was sure and had the belief that if he would see through about four overs, without losing a wicket, we will have a good chance."

However, the 32-year-old, who now has 283 runs from 6 matches and holds the Orange Cap, felt that it would have been better if he had stayed on with Dhoni and finished the game off. Rayudu was run-out again after a brilliant direct hit from Umesh Yadav in the 18th over.

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"It would have been better if I had stayed with Dhoni bhai and finished it off but I am really happy with the way I'm batting," he said.

Dhoni however stayed on till the end and finished unbeaten on 70 off 34 balls to gun down the total with 2 balls to spare.

After Rayudu's wicket it was Dhoni who did the bulk of the scoring while Dwayne Bravo gave him good support with 14 off 7 balls.

"I thought when we had the innings break this was difficult to chase because when I was keeping, I felt AB batted well to get them to 200 runs and it was tough to score. I thought it was 15-20 beyond par score.

"The key for us was the two left-handers but we lost them early. Just had to hang around there. This is a small ground, ball travels and there was just a bit of dew and it worked in our favour. Rayudu batted really well. Got a very good partnership and then Bravo striking at the end, overall it went perfectly according to the script," Dhoni said after being adjudged Man of the Match.

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Dhoni smacked 7 sixes and a boundary while Rayudu smashed 8 sixes and 3 fours to help CSK register the highest run chase at the Chinnaswamy, beating their own previous record of 192.

It was also the joint-fifth highest run chase in IPL history and the joint-highest by CSK. They had chased down the same score against the same opponent at the MA Chidambaram stadium.

"Not exactly as we had planned, but still the script was good. This was a slightly slowish wicket and that's why AB's knock was special. It wasn't an easy wicket, it was not a wicket where you could bat like that credit to him.

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"Happy that people are chipping in for us and we are chasing down big totals and at the same time it is a good exposure for some of our death bowlers," Mahi added.

CSK, who are now on top of the table with a better run-rate, have won five and lost one match so far in IPL 2018 but Rayudu feels that there's a lot of time left in the tournament and nothing is certain yet.

"I still feel it's too early in the tournament and the business end only after 8 or 9 games. So we need to keep continuing as a batting unit and keep out feet on the ground and do the basics," said the Orange Cap holder.

CSK will next host Mumbai Indians in Pune on Saturday night.

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