Abu Dhabi: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni created history as he turned up for his 200th IPL contest during the 37th match of the ongoing IPL 2020 between his side and Steve Smith-led Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Dhoni became the first player ever to play 200 IPL matches on Monday. During the match, Dhoni also took a stunning one-handed catch of Sanju Samson that left the fans in awe. It was also his 150th dismissal in the IPL.
However, the Chennai Super Kings lost the match to Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets. This was their seventh loss in 10 matches and it has put them virtually out of the play-off race, although mathematically, they are still in it.
Chasing the target of 125, it was Jos Buttler’s fluent 70 not out along with Smith’s 26 which saw the 2008 winners pull off a convincing 7-wicket win over the three-time champions, further pushing them closer to elimination.
Jos Buttler, who won the Player of the Match award for his brilliant knock of 70*, also later received MS Dhoni’s 200th IPL jersey and it was put out on social media.
RR’s official Twitter handle tweeted: “Holding No. 7, while on cloud 9.’’
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) October 19, 2020
“Speaking after the end of the match, Buttler remarked that he is happy batting at No.5. “Nice to get a win on the board tonight. I tried to come out with some intensity in my batting. I didn’t think I had enough last game, and I decided to take a few more options tonight, and it came off. You have to keep trusting yourself and particularly when there’s no scoreboard pressure, you can play yourself in and let cut loose in the end. I’m happy (batting at number 5) to do whatever the team needs to me do. This is my role for now,” Buttler said.
On the other hand, a dejected Dhoni claimed, “Fair enough, this season we weren’t really there. Maybe we didn’t see the kind of spark that they could’ve given us to say okay you know push the experienced guys and make space for them. But what this result has done is give those youngsters whatever is left in our league stages.”
RR are now fifth-placed whereas CSK are only mathematically alive in the race for the playoffs.