A grimacing MS Dhoni nearly pulled off an unbelievable win for Chennai Super Kings before Kings XI Punjab scraped through with a dramatic four-run victory in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.
Dhoni, battling back pain, took the match into the last over with a blistering 79 off 44 balls. However, his valiant effort did not prove to be enough as CSK ended at 193 for five in response to KXIP's 197 for seven at the PCA Stadium.
The Super Kings needed as many as 76 off the last 30 balls and Dhoni got his team almost over the line with an innings comprising six fours and five sixes.
With 17 needed off the last over, pacer Mohit Sharma did the job for KXIP, who recorded a second win from three games this season. It was the first loss of the season for the Dhoni-led team.
Dhoni's exhibition of powerful hitting was witnessed after the Chris Gayle show. The Jamaican showed that he was far from being a spent force as his second fastest fifty in the IPL helped KXIP put up a healthy total. The 38-year-old hammered 66 off 33 balls.
In the day's earlier match, Sanju Samson's breathtaking strokeplay formed the cornerstone of Rajasthan Royals' 19-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in a high-scoring IPL encounter here today.
Riding on Samson's 45-ball-92, Rajasthan Royals posted a competitive 217 for four on a batting belter and then managed to restrict the home team to 198 for six, earning their second victory in three games.