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CHARM AND CHEERS

- Dhurwa gives Dhoni a high five

Victory is where home is.

Captain Chase M.S. Dhoni — a sobriquet the Ranchi lad deserves for his stunning ability to pursue targets easy and tough — found the Dhurwa greens to be his lucky charm once again as his last over six led Chennai Super Kings to a five-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday.

This is Dhoni’s fifth success in a row on home turf. His team won three Champions League matches played at the JSCA International Cricket Stadium in September 2013 and the last IPL-7 tie against Kolkata Knight Riders on May 2.

“I give all credit to JSCA for preparing such a world-class pitch,” he said in an interview after the match.

Heat and bad traffic notwithstanding, Tuesday saw a yellow wave on Dhurwa’s stands. Till 3pm, the counters were abuzz with ticket-seekers for the 4pm match. Rough estimates put the crowd count at 25,000-plus.

“My children are excited about IPL happening in the city. It is their summer vacation, they had to come,” said banker Rishab Kujur.

Anita Arora, a telecom employee, said she hated to miss opportunities. “World-class cricket does not happen here every day,” she added.

The 19th over was as dramatic as it could be. “Dhoni out!” shrieked someone after a Stuart Binny throw looked like getting him run-out. A deathly silence followed. But, the man of many moments knew how to bring back cheer. A six in the second ball sent the stands roaring and sealed the Royals’ fate.

The beautiful finish was, however, marred by a bunch of unruly fans who lobbed bottles on the ground.


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