Mumbai Indians caught in Dhoni whirlwind

  • Rohit Bhaskar, Hindustan Times, Bangalore
  • |
  • Updated: May 24, 2012 01:29 IST
  • Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni (L) and his teammates celebrate their victory against Mumbai Indians during the IPL Twenty20 Eliminator match at the M ...

  • Chennai Super Kings' bowler Dwayne Bravo (L) gestures to Mumbai Indians' batsman Kieron Pollard (R) after taking his wicket during their Indian Premier League Eliminator ...

  • Chennai Super Kings bowler Albie Morkel (2L) celebrates the dimissal of Mumbai Indians Dinesh Karthik (right) with his teammates during the IPL Twenty20 Eliminator match ...

  • Gunday

    Chennai Super Kings' Suresh Raina stops a ball during the IPL Twenty20 Eliminator match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at the M Chinnaswamy ...

  • Sakshi, wife of Chennai Super Kings' captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, laughs as she watches the Indian Premier League Eliminator match in Bangalore. AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni

    Chennai Super Kings' captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni prepares to play a shot during the IPL Twenty20 cricket Eliminator match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in ...

  • Mumbai Indians' bowler Kieron Pollard celebrates the dismissal of Chennai Super Kings' batsman Subramanium Badrinath (not seen) during the IPL Twenty20 cricket Eliminator match at ...

  • Toddlers share a light moment during the IPL Twenty20 cricket Eliminator match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in ...

  • Chennai Super Kings' batsman Michael Hussey (L) watches his shot duringthe IPL Twenty20 cricket Eliminator match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. AP Photo/Aijaz ...

  • Mumbai Indians' bowler Dwayne Smith (R) drops the catch of Chennai Super Kings' batsman Subramanium Badrinath (not seen) during their Indian Premier League Eliminator cricket ...

If there's one shot that defines MS Dhoni, it's the Helicopter Shot. A stroke that's more about bottom-hand and powerful wrists than anything you will find in the coaches' manual. When Dhoni perfected this shot in his formative years of playing tennis-ball cricket, the aim was to develop a stroke that could negate the yorker.

As the years have passed, Dhoni has started using the shot sparingly. After hitting a 112-yard six, the longest in the IPL this season, beyond the roof of the Chinnaswamy Stadium in a more traditional manner on Wednesday, one can understand his apprehension over using a shot which is more flashy than percentage.

As the innings was winding down, however, the CSK skipper executed his patented shot to perfection against the bowler who delivers the most toe-crushing yorkers in the modern game - Lasith Malinga.

The Sri Lankan pitched one right up in the block hole, Dhoni flicked his wrists and swivelled his arms in the follow through to send the ball over mid-wicket for a maximum.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/5/24_05_12-metro18a.jpg

Innovative shots such as this propelled Chennai from a slow start to a rousing finish which saw them post a competitive 187/5, after they were trudging along at 47/2 at the end of the ninth over. A total that was beyond Mumbai, who were dismissed for 149/9.

Mumbai were going along at 47/0, before their chase went haywire from the final ball of the fifth over. Sachin Tendulkar cut one to backward point, his partner Dwayne Smith took off for a quick single without realising that Ravindra Jadeja had dived full length and collected the ball. Smith almost reached the batsman's end, but Tendulkar was still rooted to the crease, when Jadeja threw the ball to the non-striker's end. With one of the batsmen sure to be run out, Tendulkar stepped out of his crease and sacrificed his wicket, an acknowledgement of the early fireworks provided by Smith.

The decline
However, an over later, Smith was also back in the pavilion. From there on, the Mumbai batsman had no answer to CSK's bowlers and a spirited fielding performance to eventually crumble to an 38-run defeat. Earlier, Mike Hussey and S Badrinath went about restoring the innings, cautiously at first, after CSK were rocked by two wickets in two balls by Dhawal Kulkarni in the second over.

The duo shed their cautious approach after the first strategic timeout, taken in the ninth over. Thirty three runs off the next two overs launched the platform for a rollicking finish. After a 94-run third wicket stand, Badrinath perished for 47. This brought Dhoni to the crease and the India skipper gave a sign of things to come with a four off the first ball he faced.

 

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