Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain M S Dhoni was spot on with his captaincy in the first Qualifier of IPL 2023 against Gujarat Titans (GT) on Tuesday night.
The veteran marshalled his resources well after CSK posted 172/7 on being asked to take first strike at Chepauk.
CSK picked up wickets at regular intervals and looked in control before GT lower-order batter Rashid Khan threatened to take the game away from them with a few lusty blows.
Dhoni asked substitute fielder Subhranshu Senapati to take a few deep breaths after he misfielded during the 18th over of the chase. One ball later Senapati pulled off a direct hit to catch Darshan Nalkande short of the crease.
In the next over Dhoni's decision to move a fielder to the deep point boundary paid instant dividends. Rashid carved a low full toss off Tushar Deshpande to the boundary where it was pouched by Devon Conway.
In the same over Dhoni lost his cool after Deshpande bowled one on the legs after he packed the off-side field. Last-man Mohammed Shami picked up an easy four and Dhoni was quick to let his bowler know he wanted him to bowl to the field.
CSK won by 15 runs to enter their 10th IPL final and Dhoni, who fell for one, had played a big role with his shrewd leadership.