MS Dhoni added another milestone to his rich legacy as he guided Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to their tenth Indian Premier League (IPL) final on Tuesday evening. The four-time IPL winners defeated Gujarat Titans (GT) by 15 runs in Qualifier 1 played at Chepauk. However, the journey is not yet over for the Titans, who will get another chance to meet CSK at the finale if they manage to defeat the winners of the Eliminator between The Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians in their next encounter – Qualifier 2.
Dhoni as usual was spot on with most of his onfield decisions, something which almost every expert noted during commentary. However, there was one particular incident that didn’t go down well with the fans and even India’s batting legend Sunil Gavaskar, who had taken Dhoni’s autograph on his shirt a couple of days earlier, failed to digest it.
The incident took place before the 15th over of GT’s chase. Dhoni was seen engaged in a discussion with the umpires. While things were not very clear at the start, it was later pointed out by many that it was a deliberate time-wasting strategy by the CSK captain.
Matheesha Pathirana was getting ready to bowl his second over but was not allowed by the umpire because the right-arm pacer was not present on the field for the same amount of time as he had been off it.
Dhoni, who is a smart custodian, cleverly kept the umpires engaged till the time elapsed as other CSK players surrounded the officials. CSK and Dhoni held up play for close to four minutes and before Pathirana was allowed to bowl.
Reacting to the incident, Gavaskar on-air noted: “You accept the umpire’s decision. Even if the umpire gets it wrong sometimes in high-pressure situations.”
VIDEO: Dhoni holds up play in a deliberate act of time-waste to let Pathirana bowl, draws irk of fans
Here is how the fans reacted to Dhoni’s bizarre time-waste tactic in the CSK vs GT IPL 2023 Qualifier 1 match
Pathirana eventually completed his quota with two wickets and conceded 37 runs as Gujarat were bundled for 157 in the final ball of their innings. CSK won by 15 runs to march to another IPL final.
Ruturaj Gaikwad was declared Player of the Match for his 60 off 44 balls.