MS Dhoni admitted that his team’s latest defeat to the Sunrisers Hyderabad on the 10th of May was a bitter pill to swallow as it left the Rising Pune SuperGiants (RPS) in 7th place with a dismal record of 11 matches, 8 losses and just three wins. This is a position that MS Dhoni has never been in during his IPL career captaining the popular Chennai Super Kings franchise as they have made it to the qualifying rounds of all IPL seasons in which they took part.
The RPS franchise owners will be disappointed with the performance of their team as a combination of injuries to their overseas players and an inability to deliver in crunch situations has cost the team dearly. Dhoni has felt the pressure and hasn’t been his usual cheerful self and that tension has reflected on the way the team has carried themselves on the field.
RPS had a great chance to win the match against the Sunrisers and get some crucial points on the board. They restricted the Sunrisers to just 137 after R Ashwin put the brakes on them by sending down 4 overs for just 16 runs before leg-spinner Adam Zampa would run through the side with figure of 4 overs, 19 runs and 6 wickets.
RPS got off to a bad start losing the inform A Rahane in the first over but G Bailey steadied the ship with a well-made 34 that included two lives. The first was when he clearly knicked a delivery to the keeper but was given not out and the second was a missed run-out opportunity. However RPS found it difficult to step up the run rate as the Sunrisers bowling unit of A Nehra, M Rahman and B Kumar constantly applied pressure and kept taking wickets.
Dhoni was at the wicket at the start of the final over and hit a six of the fourth ball to swing the match in his teams favour but Nehra struck twice in the 5th and final ball of the innings to give the Sunrisers a win and take them to the top of the table.
During a post-match conference, Zampa admitted that RPS season was now over and it was up to the team to pick themselves up and gain confidence for the next season. Dhoni will desperately want to win the next few games and show fans that he still has the magic touch to change things around.