MS Dhoni has been under a lot of pressure even before the start of the 2017 IPL as the Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) decided to hand over the captaincy to Steven Smith. Dhoni’s form with the bat in the 2017 IPL has been poor and his strike rate has received a lot of criticism as it has not even crossed the 90 mark.
However captain Steven Smith had thrown his support behind MS Dhoni promoting him over Manoj Tiwari who has been in outstanding form on more than one occasion. Dhoni came to the party finally in the match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad scoring an unbeaten half century which included hitting a four of the final ball in trademark Dhoni style and securing a nail biting victory over the Sunrisers.
Smith Makes A Mistake With His Spinners
The Sunrisers batted first and got off to a slow start as David Warner and S Dhawan found it difficult to get going. Steven Smith missed a trick by not bowling out both his spinners I Tahir and W Sundar who did a phenomenal job in sending down 6 overs between them for just 42 runs and taking one wicket. Smith preferred to use his pacers in the death overs and it almost cost RPS the match as M Henriques and D Hooda launched an attack in the final few overs that helped the Sunrisers reach a formidable 176.
Dropped Catches Hurt Sunrisers
Sunrisers got off to a good start getting A Rahane in the fourth over and could have picked up a second wicket of R Tripathi but B Sharma made a mess of an easy catch. Tripathi went on to score 59 runs of just 41 balls and set the stage for MS Dhoni. The Sunrisers dropped M Tiwari of the first ball of the final over when R Khan dropped a catch and let it go for a boundary.
MS Dhoni Finishes In Style
MS Dhoni started off slowly once again but slowly regained his touch and started dominating the bowling, especially during the last couple of overs. He ended up hitting an unbeaten 61 of just 34 balls with a strike rate of 179 and showed his critics that some of the magic is still below the surface.
In the post match interview, captain Steven Smith was full of praise for MS Dhoni and said “Got pretty close towards the end, but MS did what’s he’s done for such a long period of time. Under pressure, he comes good again.”