What I asked Ruturaj before the match? MS Dhoni reveals as CSK roars with a hat-trick victory!

With two consecutive victories, the CSK players were high on energy and with two losses, the KKR looked a bit dull. However, the aim of both the teams was to secure those two golden points again by registering a victory. Kolkata Knight Riders is a strong and balanced team that could come back to form anytime. So the Chennai Super Kings had to be very careful in retaining their momentum and the winning streak, and of course to put a hat-trick victory in their kitty. 

It was definitely going to be tough for both the teams but they were up to the challenge. The clash between the Knight Riders and the Super Kings was hosted by Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, which is becoming a newbie home ground for Chennai. Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and Morgan decided to bowl first. It was a dream opening stand for the CSK with Ruturaj and Faf taking on the KKR bowlers with ease. 

Ruturaj was under a stern expectation to fix the glitch in his batting as he has failed in the previous matches to put up a competitive opening stand. After the episodes of flawed opening, Ruturaj had finally delivered a comeback show in the series by scoring 64 runs off just 42 deliveries, which gave the Super Kings an arm to score big. He along with Faf du Plessis had put on a splendid opening partnership of 115 runs, one of the highest for the CSK. 

Faf du Plessis was phenomenal this time as he looked extremely cool and comfortable in the crease. He had good little partnerships with Moeen Ali and MS Dhoni. The fans were able to see the 'vintage' Dhoni when he hit that six in Prasidh Krishna's ball. Faf was unbeaten for a fantastic 95 off 60 balls and with a good cameo role from Dhoni and Moeen Ali and with Jadeja's six in the final ball, CSK ended their sensational innings with 220 runs for the loss of 3 wickets in 20 overs. 

The KKR bowlers had a nightmare by electing to bowl first as they had ended their spells with an economy rate of 11 per over on average and Aussie's Pat Cummins was the highest contributor in the economy rate as he gave 58 runs from four overs. With the lofty target, the KKR came to the crease for the chase only to witness the walk show of their batsmen. Deepak Chahar was resplendent in the bowling as he restricted the opening batting unit of the Knight Riders. Shubman Gill was dismissed for a duck while Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi fell short for 9 and 8 runs respectively.

The damage continued for the Knight Riders after Eoin Morgan went back to the pavilion for 7 runs while Sunil Narine was dismissed for four runs. The KKR were at 31 for 5 within the mandated powerplay. As the opening unit for Morgan's fleet fell short for a low score, the challenge and responsibility were shouldered on the middle order batsmen, and to everyone's surprise, pacer Pat Cummins was on a full charge on the crease to score more than what he gave to the Super Kings. Andre Russell and Pat Cummins were the shining stars for the Knight Riders as they were unstoppable. 

Through the aggressive batting fashion of Russell and Cummins, the CSK began to realize that they are losing their control over the game. If they lose the grip, it's over for CSK as the Knight Riders were getting close to target and building momentum. Russell and Cummins had each scored a half-century and they each had got six sixes. When Russell was threatening the CSK, Dhoni handed over the ball to his lucky charm, Sam Curran. Though Curran was very expensive in his spell, he had given a breakthrough for the team by putting a break to Russell. Andre Russell was bowled out for 54 runs off 22 balls including three fours and six sixes. 

Russel couldn't believe what had happened because he got bowled out in a delivery which he thought was going to be wide. After Russell's dismissal,  Dinesh Karthik took up the fight and scored 40 runs from 24 balls. Karthik had fallen due to LBW to Lungi Ngidi but the match was still not over for the CSK as they got Pat Cummins on the other end. When he scored his 50, the CSK camp almost began to think it was over. He was fighting and fighting till the last over to take his team home but the two runouts towards the end had put an end to KKR's dream, though Cummins was unbeaten till the end with 66 runs off 34 balls and stood at the crease. 

The KKR had managed to cross 200 runs but they fell short of 18 runs. Eventually, the CSK won the game and brought nail-baiting moments to an end. Through this remarkable triumph, the CSK had registered their hat-trick victory in the series and the team currently tops the IPL points table with three victories in four matches. For his wonderful batting, Faf du Plessis was named as the player of the match. Speaking at the post-match presentation, Dhoni said, "Quite easy in a game like this. From the 16th over onwards the contest was between the fast bowler and batsman. You can't do too much. Can't put a different field. It's about you vs me. The side that has won is a side that has executed slightly better. But if they would've had more wickets, could have been different. Have seen enough in cricket, always like to be humble". 

"The batting has been really good. Rutu (Ruturaj) is someone who has shown his class in the last IPL. You always need to assess where he is mentally. Once when he was off guard, I just asked him how are you feeling today. When you put a question like that, you wait for the reactions, you see what's in his eyes. There was enough in his reactions to suggest he wasn't rattled. That's what I have been doing all my life (applying psychology) but in a good way", Dhoni added. While Faf du Plessis was the stellar batsman for CSK, Deepak Chahar was the star bowler as he has got four crucial wickets by giving 29 runs in his four overs.