MS Dhoni turned back the clock to produce a fightback from a position where a victory looked a mountainous task for the Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Saturday evening. Dhoni struck 3 sixes and 5 boundaries to score 61 not out, and took RPS to a massive 6-wicket win — third for Rising Pune Supergiant in six matches so far. Rahul Tripathi scored a fabulous 59 off 41 balls early on, but it was Dhoni’s innings which turned out to be one of the most special knocks seen in this edition. Chasing 177 to win, RPS won with Dhoni hitting a boundary off the final ball. Let us take a look at the highlights of the match 24 in the ongoing IPL 2017: FULL CRICKET SCORES: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), IPL 2017 Match 24
Champion calls in sick: A vital cog in the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s line-up, Yuvraj Singh missed the clash on Saturday due to sickness. Hence there were no Yuvraj vs Dhoni billboards.
Imran Tahir’s luck: Rising Pune Supergiant had opted to field after winning the toss, keeping in mind the strong breeze at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Ground in Pune. While the breeze did reduce the effect of the scorching sun, it did not favour the fast bowlers. After eight wicketless overs, RPS called in Imran Tahir to make a breakthrough. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), IPL 2017 Match 24
The leg-spinner responded immediately, as he had Shikhar Dhawan caught at deep midwicket. Dhawan got a short ball first up, which he pulled in effort to clear deep midwicket. However, the stroke was hit against the breeze, and the ball did not travel the distance. Dhawan’s was the only wicket which Tahir claimed in the innings.
The Moises Henriques show: The right-hander, who has batted at No. 3 several times, had to make way from that position to accommodate Kane Williamson. However, unfazed by the demotion, Henriques batted extremely well to score a brisk 28-ball 55 not out, studded with 6 boundaries and 2 sixes. Thanks to Henriques’ innings, SRH were able to post a daunting 177-run target against the fallible RPS side.
To switch or not to switch: Warner looked subdued on Saturday afternoon, not launching attack at any point in his innings. However, there were a few exquisite strokes and among them was a switch-hit for a six off a full-toss from Tahir. While Warner got runs on that occasion, another attempt did not come out well. Against Jaydev Unadkat, Warner switched to hit the ball in the gap but was cleaned up.
Rahul Tripathi shines: Chasing a formidable total, RPS needed the top-order to fire. Even though Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed cheaply, Rahul Tripathi had other plans. He tore into the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s bowling attack, smacking them all over the park for quick runs.
Steven Smith is livid: Having struck two consecutive sixes, Smith was looking to make most of the start. However, Smith, who had watched each of Rashid Khan’s deliveries closely, was left fuming when he missed out to read a googly and chopped on. Smith gave himself a mouthful along with a gesture suggesting that he was livid at himself. His wicket turned the game in SRH’s favour.
The brilliant Rashid Khan: When Dhoni called for a tight single with the bowler tying him up, little did the former captain realise it would result in the dismissal of his partner, Tripathi. However, it was the sheer brilliance of Rashid which got SRH the wicket. The bowler sprinted towards the ball as RPS batsmen were trying to steal a single. Rashid picked it up, and threw it towards the wicket while he was still in motion. Much to the delight of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rashid, it was a direct hit resulting in the dismissal of the on-song Tripathi.
The Thalaiva!: Let us be honest. No one has liked the way how Dhoni has been treated of late, and the talks of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) returning to IPL have certainly raised hopes. To be criticised within the camp on a social media platform is something not seen before, but Dhoni kept quiet throughout. Amid criticism, Dhoni played a characteristic innings, and let his bat have the final laugh. Dhoni scored 61 not out off 34 balls, and lifted RPS to a win literally out of nowhere. Dhoni slammed 5 boundaries and 3 sixes in his innings, which would have left his critics eating their own words.