Jaipur, Apri 12: Mitchell Santner whacked a mammoth six off the last ball in a final over of the highest drama as Chennai Super Kings won a barnstorming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 contest against Rajasthan Royals by four wickets.
A 95-run stand from Ambati Rayudu (57) and MS Dhoni (58) had the Super Kings seemingly coasting to their target of 152.
But a brilliant running catch from Shreyas Gopal ended Rayudu's knock off Ben Stokes' bowling to stem the momentum and Chennai were left needing 18 off the final six.
A dramatic final over saw Dhoni bowled by a Stokes yorker, but the captain was soon back on the field to vent his anger that a high one delivered to Santner was not called as a no ball.
How good Mitch Santner 🏄🏻♂️👏👏👏. #IPL2019— Ross Taylor (@RossLTaylor) April 11, 2019
However, Dhoni - who becomes the first captain to chalk up 100 IPL wins - saw his frown turn upside down when Santner launched Stokes for six over long on to extend the Super Kings' lead at the top of the table and leave the Royals with a single win to their name.
Wow ! What a game, what a tournament this IPL has been. Yesterday Polly Kaka for Mumbai , today Santner and Dhoni , shaandaar . #RRvCSK— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) April 11, 2019
CENTURION JADEJA AND SANTNER KEEP ROYALS IN CHECK
Bar a swift 23 off 10 balls from Jos Buttler, few from the top-to-middle order impressed for the Royals.
Ravindra Jadeja kept the Royals' run-rate in check and the second of his wickets, which saw Steve Smith slog-sweep to Rayudu at midwicket, saw him rack up a 100th IPL scalp.
Santner's 1-25 also helped play a part and it was left to Gopal's entertaining 19 off seven to take the Royals to 151-7 after Stokes had hit 28 off 26.
What a tournament this IPL is .... unbelievable matches ... yesterday mumbai and now CSK ..only better competition is the World Cup— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) April 11, 2019
RAYUDU AND DHONI LEAD RECOVERY
A top-order collapse saw Shane Watson (0), Suresh Raina (4), Faf Du Plessis (7) and Kedar Jadhav (1) depart – the latter via an astonishing Stokes catch plucked to his left at backwards point – to leave the Super Kings reeling on 24-4.
But Rayudu smacked three sixes and two fours off just 47 balls, with Dhoni racking up the same boundaries off 43 to turn the tide.
Rayudu's wicket completely altered the match and it looked as though the Royals would take the win before a final over for the IPL ages.
It started with Jadeja falling over as he smacked smack a six straight back over Stokes' head, before Dhoni's dismissal looked like the final nail in the visitors' coffin.
An angry confrontation for the revoked no ball further worsened Dhoni's mood until Santner's last-gasp slog sealed a memorable win.