CSK emerged victorious by a margin of 15 runs on their home ground at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, securing their spot in a record-extending 10th final. This triumph was particularly significant as it marked CSK’s first win over the defending champions, the Gujarat Titans, in four encounters during the IPL 2022 season.
The incident unfolded when Pathirana, who had already claimed two crucial wickets, was initially unable to bowl his second spell during the death overs. The Sri Lankan bowler had temporarily left the field for medical attention, with an undisclosed niggle, during the Titans’ chase.
According to the IPL playing conditions, any player who departs the field for more than eight minutes must spend a similar duration on the field before being allowed to resume bowling. Taking advantage of this rule, Dhoni utilised strategic time management techniques to extend the time before Pathirana’s return.
Upon Pathirana’s comeback, he was eventually given the opportunity to bowl the pivotal 16th over. At that point, the Gujarat Titans required 71 runs from 30 balls, as they had struggled to reach a total of 102 for six.
Dhoni’s shrewd gamesmanship and calculated delay played a significant role in shaping the outcome of the match. CSK’s decision ultimately allowed Pathirana, their potent weapon, to make a critical impact during a crucial phase of the game.
With CSK securing their place in the IPL final, their remarkable journey continues, propelled by Dhoni’s strategic leadership and the impressive performances of players like Matheesha Pathirana.
According to a report in ESPN Cricinfo, Dhoni noticed umpire Anil Chaudhary having a conversation with Pathirana before the over, and the CSK captain checked with Chris Gaffaney, positioned at square leg, as to what the discussion was about.
The TV commentary, meanwhile, informed that the Sri Lankan was out for nine minutes and the discussion on the field pertained to whether Pathirana could bowl or not.
The report also stated that Dhoni was informed by match officials that Pathirana would have to wait for some more time before he could bowl. The CSK captain acknowledged that he understood, but added that he had no option but to give the ball to Pathirana.
Dhoni was also reminded that CSK could face financial penalty for slow over-rate and in-match penalty of being allowed only four men outside the circle, if the last over does not start in stipulated time.
In all these discussions, the four minutes elapsed and Pathirana was allowed to bowl with permissible time of eight minutes being already over.
While Pathirana didn’t get a wicket in that over, he did get a wicket in his very next over, the dangerous Vijay Shankar to tilt the match in CSK’s favour.
(With PTI inputs)