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Dhoni blitz in vain as Chennai lose to Bangalore by one run

Chennai Super Kings captain and batsman M.S. Dhoni hit 84 as his side lost by one run on the final ball against Royal Challengers Bangalore © AFP / Manjunath KIRAN

BANGALORE, India, Apr 21Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s swashbuckling 84 went in vain as Royal Challengers Bangalore edged past Chennai Super Kings in a last-ball thriller on Sunday to keep their play-off hopes alive in the Indian Premier League.

Dhoni almost pulled off Chennai’s chase of 161 as he smashed five fours and seven sixes in his 48-ball blitz only to see his team lose by one run in Bangalore in the Twenty20 tournament.

With defending champions Chennai needing 26 off the last over, Dhoni hit a four and three sixes but missed the final ball from paceman Umesh Yadav and ran to get runs through byes.

Bangalore wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, who top-scored with 53 in his team’s 161-7, hit the stumps to run out Shardul Thakur as Virat Kohli’s side managed to win their third game.

“A whole lot of emotions. We thought we were outstanding with the ball till the 19th over mark. To be very honest, that was the last thing I would have expected,” said a relieved Kohli.

“But anything can happen in the game of cricket. MS (Dhoni) did what he does well and gave us a scare.”

The 37-year-old Dhoni, known for his finishing skills, lifted his side from a precarious 28-4 in the sixth over to bring them within touching distance of victory.

He built crucial partnerships including a 55-run fifth-wicket stand with Ambati Rayudu, who made 29, to try and calculate the chase.

“We did really well to restrict RCB below par. I think it was more of a calculation mistake that we lost wickets early on,” said the skipper.

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“T20 is all about taking risks, but you can still calculate. A lot of boundaries were needed, right now you can calculate, one run there, and two runs there and we just lost by one run. But you can also say we missed some boundaries.”

South African paceman Dale Steyn did the early damage with his twin strikes to be on a hat-trick in the very first over of the Chennai innings.

Steyn got Australia’s Shane Watson caught at slip for five, on the fifth delivery and then bowled Indian batsman Suresh Raina for nought. He returned figures of 2-29.

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