MS Dhoni might not have had a great IPL 2017 hitherto but that didn’t stop him from pulling out another finishing masterclass to make it two wins in a row for Rising Pune Supergiant in the tournament. The win also helped his side get off the bottom spot and claim some much-needed momentum.
And it all began, like all modern Dhoni-tales, slowly. He scored just 26 runs off the first 23 balls with just a solitary four and a six. But his last 11 balls saw him score 35 runs at a strike rate of 318 with two sixes and four fours as he helped Pune chase 177 by six wickets off the last ball of the game. Dhoni’s 34-ball 61 also helped him claim the Man of the Match.
“It was a difficult one but it was important that, since we had strikers towards the end, that we take Rashid out of the game. That was his last over. It's not a pretty big ground, and there was a pretty strong breeze. That was the plan. It was slightly above average, the run rate. You can't always pull it off. Manoj's contribution was very important. In modern day cricket, there's no run rate that's high. It boils down to how the opposition bowlers execute. It's about who handles the nerves well. Overall I feel that last four overs you can get close to 60 runs provided the opposition plays badly and you play well.”
“Got pretty close towards the end there. MS did what he's done for such a long period of time. When he's under pressure, he comes through more often than not. Probably thought it was a 160-165 wicket. We probably didn't execute our plans as well as we would have liked. Moises and Hooda played well too. Tripathi was very good at the top there. These are big five games for us. If we can keep playing like that, and climb up the ladder it will be nice.”
Here are the reactions from the cricket fraternity:
AB de Villiers:
Ms Dhoni does what he's done with so much confidence over the years. What a champion knock. Great to watch— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) April 22, 2017