Coordinated moans and the chopper lands
The coordinated moans
In the sixth over of the game, Dwayne Bravo aimed a full offcutter at Lendl Simmons' pads as he backed away. Simmons could not get much bat on it, and only managed to slice it away close to the stumps on the off side. He was thinking of a cheeky single, but realised, to his horror, that the ball had turned in sharply after bouncing and rolled close to his stumps. It missed the target by a few inches, and Simmons sighed in relief even as Bravo and the rest of Chepauk ooh-ed and aah-ed in unison. The crowd repeated the dose, in more choreographed synchrony, when MS Dhoni missed an under-arm throw that would have caught Sherwin Ganga short of the crease.
The dive for cover
In Dwayne Bravo's third over, Adrian Barath was on the move when he tried to guide a ball to third man, but could only bottom-edge it to Dhoni's right. Dhoni aimed his throw at the striker's end even as Barath turned back. He had gone so far, though, that he decided to dive into his crease to ensure he would be in. And just as well; Dhoni's throw was so wild, it would have hit Barath halfway up if he had been on his feet. The throw was also wide, forcing Dwayne Bravo to dive full-length to his right to stop it from running away for overthrows.
The don't-try-this-at-home stroke
Kevon Cooper provided a glimpse of his inventive stroke-play in the game against Mumbai Indians, but today he outdid himself. In the final over of the T&T innings, he walked across his stumps even as he leaned forward, and crouched low to ramp a low full toss from Doug Bollinger over short fine-leg. He could not overcome the laws of gravity, though, and tumbled onto his back even as he watched the ball going to the boundary.
The slower ball
Cooper had more unconventional fare in store when he came on to bowl. In the 12th over, he delivered a slower ball that could at best be defined as an offcutter, but technically was a backspinner delivered from the back of the hand. The ball stopped so suddenly and bounced on Dhoni that it hit his bat on the handle and popped up alarmingly into the covers. It landed safely, and Dhoni responded with a befuddled look at the pitch and the bowler.
The chopper landing
With the required-rate mounting out of reach, the pressure was on Dwayne Bravo and Dhoni to invent boundaries on a difficult pitch. Bravo responded with two fours off Sherwin Ganga before handing the strike to Dhoni, but the captain wasn't able to drive home the advantage. He hit the fourth ball of the over straight to cover, and left a ball outside off that was just inside the tramlines. But it was the sixth ball that underlined his struggle: Ganga fired it into the blockhole, Dhoni deftly stepped back and brought the bat down rapidly to generate leverage. He timed the helicopter shot well, and hit it hard into the turf, but Ganga coolly leapt up in his followthrough to haul it down. Dhoni's most famous weapon had let him down for once, and his listless innings came to an end off the next ball he faced.
Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo