Indian limited overs captain MS Dhoni is one of the best finishers in the game, and here is the list of five of his best finishes in cricket. From the 2009 India vs West Indies match to the recent match against Kings XI Punjab, here are our top-5 last-over finishes by MS Dhoni.
There is a famous saying ‘When the going gets tough, the tough gets going’. Indian limited overs captain MS Dhoni exemplifies this quote with his last-over finishes as he has taken India over the line many times in the dying moments of matches. Here are five of his best last-over finishes so far.
1. India vs West Indies, Gros Islet 2009.
The four-match series was tied at 1-1, and the third match was a crucial one for both the teams, as a win would have guaranteed the winner a hand on the trophy. The toss took place after several delays, and West Indies managed to score 186 from the shortened innings of 27 overs after they were asked to bat, and Nehra was the pick of the bowlers for India. The match was further shortened to 22 overs before India came out to bat, and the Indian openers gave the perfect start to the team. Dhoni walked into the crease in the 13th over after the fall of the first wicket with 75 needed off 59 balls, and India wanted someone like Dhoni to stay
It was the last group match for both the teams. Kings XI Punjab
Irfan Pathan was to bowl the last six balls of the match, and Dhoni was on strike. The first ball was not bad, a wide ball, almost a yorker, but Dhoni powered it through the long-off for a four. The second ball was not bad at all – slow and back of a length and Dhoni skied it. Piyush Chawla was slow off the blocks and messes up a potential catch. The third ball was a missed yorker, and Dhoni bludgeoned the ball
It was an intensely emotional moment for the man. He was so pumped up, so pumped up that he dealt himself a solid uppercut as he ran down the pitch shouting to himself past team-mate Morkel. He had seen bigger stages and won in them, but this night was something special.
3. India vs Australia , Adelaide 2012
After a horrendous Test series, India
4.India vs Sri Lanka, Port-of-Spain 2013
With 15 runs needed in the last over, things were set to go down to the wire. But Dhoni felt otherwise. He asked for a replacement to his bat, and suddenly the air in the stadium was buzzing with anticipation. No runs came from the first delivery of the over, and then Dhoni went mad - it was 6,4,6 off the next three and the first six was so huge that it ended up
With that, India had lifted the Tri-nations tournament. MSD, evidently, was the Man of the Match!
5. Rising Pune Supergiants vs Kings XI Punjab, Vishakhapatnam 2016
This match was more about pride than anything else - both the teams were out of the tournament already. Pune had struggled through the league as its batsmen kept marching to the infirmary one after the other, and when Punjab scored 172, it seemed as if Pune would lose the last match as well. In came Dhoni in the 12th over with 95 runs needed off 52 balls. Irfan Pathan left immediately after and Thisara Perrera departed in the penultimate over after some lusty blows. Pune still needed 23 runs from the last over.
Axar Patel came over to bowl the final
The next ball saw a ferocious flat shot from Dhoni that landed just short of the cover boundary. 12 needed off 2 balls. And Dhoni moved to make room and clobbered the next one over the deep midwicket ropes. 6 needed off 1 ball. And then, Dhoni managed to do the impossible with another six off the last ball again through midwicket! It just ain't over until MSD says so!
This feature was originally published on Sep 1, 2016.