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Ball-by-ball - Ferguson and Dayal deny Dhoni and Jadeja in dramatic finish

No-balls, giant sixes, pressure catches, and a climax that had everyone on the edge of their seats. RCB vs CSK didn't fail to deliver

MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja bump fists in the middle, Royal Challengers Bengaluru vs Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2024, Bengaluru, May 18, 2024

MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja kept CSK in the contest, but it wasn't enough  •  BCCI

After 67 matches in IPL 2024, Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were locked in an intense duel for the final playoffs berth. The possibility of rain playing spoilsport had dominated much of the pre-match conversation, but to the relief of cricket lovers, not only did the game take place, it went the distance.
RCB, thanks to a majestic 54 from captain Faf du Plessis, managed a daunting 218. But the catch: CSK needed only 201 to qualify for the playoffs, thanks to a superior net run-rate. As expected, the game twisted and turned several times, before some familiar faces took centre stage in a thrilling finish.
MS Dhoni, with a cloud hanging over his IPL future, and Ravindra Jadeja were together at the crease, with CSK needing 35 off 12 balls. They were up against Lockie Ferguson. Sounds familiar?
Would thala get his fairy-tale ending?
Here's how it went on ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball commentary, helmed by Himanshu Agrawal.
Ferguson to Dhoni, (no ball) It's an above-waist no-ball, and so a free hit. Ferguson bowls a beamer which is way over Dhoni, and dipping in front of Karthik. Dhoni looked to ramp still, but missed
Ferguson to Dhoni, 1 run On a length around off, but seemingly too quick. A mistimed pull towards midwicket
Dhoni changes his bat...
Ferguson to Jadeja, FOUR runs Swat-pulls this shortish ball on middle and leg to hit past short fine. The ball dribbles away to the boundary. He just uses the pace of Ferguson there to time it in the gap
Ferguson to Jadeja, 1 run Shorter side of a length on middle, and whipped to deep square
Ferguson to Dhoni, FOUR runs Bashed over extra cover! He went thrashing at this length ball outside off at 145kph, even as the ball came off the outside half of the bat
Ferguson to Dhoni, 1 run Short of a length on middle, and he pulls but gets a bottom edge towards deep square leg
23 off 7 to qualify for CSK...
Ferguson to Jadeja, SIX runs And Jadeja dumps it over midwicket! Gets his front leg out of the way of this length delivery which is angling across towards middle, and clobbers the pull for a timely - in every sense of the word - six!
CSK needed 17 to qualify. RCB needed to keep CSK to 200 at most, which meant they could concede 16 at the most.
Yash Dayal to Dhoni
Yash Dayal to Dhoni, SIX runs Pings the top tier! Dhoni goes for the pull, and although it seemed to have come off the top half of the bat, it went behind the wicket for a massive six. Dhoni swivelled at this shortish ball, and bang!
11 off 5 to qualify for CSK...
Yash Dayal to Dhoni, OUT Slower ball... and Dhoni falls! Half the Chinnaswamy erupts out of joy; the other half wonders if they have seen Dhoni for the last time ever. Dayan bowls a length ball angling away towards off, but this is from the back of the hand. Dhoni goes hoicking across the line, but can hit it only as far as deep backward square leg. Who knows we may have seen the last of Dhoni on the field
Thakur at No. 9
Yash Dayal to Thakur, no run Ahh, and he is beaten! Short of a length and angling away at just 106kph, as Thakur has a pull but misses
Yash Dayal to Thakur, 1 run Full length on off, and he has a massive across-the-line heave. But there is an outside edge towards short third instead
Jadeja has to score 10 from 2 balls for CSK to qualify. He did that in last year's final, and CSK won the trophy...
Yash Dayal to Jadeja, no run Ahh, and Jadeja is beaten! Again Chinnaswamy believe that RCB are all but through. On a length and wide-ish of off, as Jadeja swings but misses
Only if it's not a no-ball or a wide...
Yash Dayal to Jadeja, no run Another dot... RCB make the playoffs! Short of a length, and again around sixth stump, as Jadeja went pulling but missed. So defending champs CSK are eliminated. The RCB players are leaping and rejoicing even before the ball has reached the keeper's gloves
An inspiring performance from RCB: they win six in a row to qualify for the playoffs, when at one stage they were No. 10, right at the bottom of the table. And that was a result of just as many losses on the bounce. Terrific from RCB when it mattered most: Kohli, du Plessis, Jacks, Siraj and co, everyone stepped up and rebuilt brick by brick to get their house back in order.