When Mahendra Singh Dhoni marched into his home ground, there were another 34 deliveries left in the Chennai Super Kings innings. The run rate was over eight, thanks to Suresh Raina — batting on a 71 off 45. And with eight wickets in hand it could be assumed that the Super Kings would press the pedal to metal in the final overs.
The acceleration came in the 18th over of the innings when Dhoni hit five sixes in a Thisara Perera over that included two wides. In all Perera conceded 34 runs in that one particular over as Dhoni moved from 11 to 43.
The medium pacer Perera had been hit for 16 runs in the 13th over of the innings with Raina, the in-form batsman, helping himself to two fours as the Sri Lankan strayed down the leg-side. Perera, who had gone for 26 runs in two overs, was clearly not having the best of days. Now with Dhoni and Raina together in the middle, Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Shikhar Dhawan wisely rotated the rest of the bowlers — Darren Sammy, JP Duminy, Ishant Sharma, Dale Steyn — and got an over each out of them.
They went for 14, 11, 10 and five runs respectively as Raina moved to 84 and Dhoni to 11 from seven balls. Chennai were placed at 141 for three and though Raina and before him Michael Hussey had found their range along or over the boundary ropes there was no cause for alarm.
But the next over, the 18th was going to change to course of the match. Dhawan may wonder later if he made the right decision by handing Perera, who looked out of sorts on this Thursday evening, the ball when the innings entered the phase when Dhoni likes to bring out his big shots. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra had two overs left, while Sammy was also an option on either side of Steyn’s last over.
How it happened<\b>
Perera started off with a wide down the leg side. The next ball though was pitched up. But all it took Dhoni