The 2019 season of the Indian Premier League witnessed a number of thrilling matches including the grand finale itself. Chennai Super Kings were again at the helm of such thrillers last season, the franchise played one such match against Rajasthan Royals at the latter’s home-ground Jaipur.
Chasing a modest target of 152, CSK needed 18 runs in the last over to win. CSK managed to get 10 runs off the first three balls as the equation had come down to eight runs off three balls.
But the next ball unfolded the real drama as Ben Stokes bowled a high full toss. For a moment the umpire seemed to have raised his hand (to call it a no-ball) before withdrawing at the last moment to deem it a legal delivery. The incident spurred a lot of anger in the CSK camp as even captain cool MS Dhoni walked straight to the umpire from the dugout.
Recalling that incident, the Kiwi all-rounder Mitchell Santner, in an Instagram Live session with CSK, said “I was probably as surprised as everyone. He (Dhoni) is so calm. But I think that shows you how committed he is to the team and how much of a family it is to him and how much it means to him to do something like that. It wasn’t anger, it was just one of the umpires just stuck his hand out and you can’t be going back,”
The heated moment made a lot of headline, but luckily CSK won the match with a last ball six by Mitchell Santner. “I guess, to end up winning it was a good thing. If we had lost it, there would have been more anger flowing around”, the 28-year-old said. “It kind of shows you how it brought everyone together. We went on to win a few after that. Those kinds of games… if you get on the right side of the result… it can help you gain momentum moving forward. It wasn’t a perfect game but different people stepped up at different times.”
Santner also revealed that Captain Cool also apologised to the umpires for walking into the ground like that. “A little bit (talk after the game). I was out there. I obviously saw him out there. He was right next to the umpire. Obviously he knew he was not allowed to do that. He apologised straightaway. It might have flustered Stokes and gave me a good ball to hit. I am happy,” Santner said.