Vijay Hazare Trophy: MS Dhoni ton powers Jharkhand to victory vs Chattisgarh
MS Dhoni hit a vintage century, surviving early hiccups before exploding in the end, to hand Jharkhand cricket team a win over Chattisgarh cricket team in the Vijay Hazare Trophy national one-day tournament.cricket Updated: Feb 26, 2017 17:47 IST
Chhattisgarh thought they had MS Dhoni out first ball, caught at the wicket with point, slip, wicket-keeper Manoj Singh and medium-pacer Abhuday Kant Singh going up in unison.
The Jharkhand skipper survived that, a leg-before appeal to a straighter one from leg-spinner Shubham Agarwal that hit him on the back foot, a catch Chattisgarh skipper Mohammad Kaif dropped when on 95. He went on to score 129 off 107 balls with 10 fours and six sixes in this Vijay Hazare Trophy match at Eden here on Sunday, his seventh List A century.
It helped Jharkhand register their first win of the tournament, by 78 runs, because Chattisgarh were never in the hunt. Varun Aaron took 3/26 and left-armer Shahbaz Nadeem 3/36.
Walking in when Jharkhand were 43/4, Dhoni saw Ishank Jaggi go with no addition to the score. On 26, Dhoni, shuffling across, also survived a leg-before shout off SS Kharwar but he hung in there and reached 52 with a six over long-off to Agarwal, his first. Jharkhand’s innings then was 41.4 overs old.
That he added 77 runs before being caught behind, off Kharwar, off the innings’ last ball, shows the mayhem Dhoni can cause even when this rusty. With national selector Devang Gandhi present, Dhoni’s late blitz included a chipped shot that went one bounce to the wide mid-on fence.
Kaif’s decision to introduce off-spinner Sahil Gupta in the 46th over had Dhoni hitting him across the line in the mid-wicket and long-on region for successive sixes. This was followed by two boundaries; a heave over the bowlers’ head and another at wide mid-off. The over yielded 23 runs, including one wide, one of the 12 Chattisgarh bowled.
Kharwar began the last over and Dhoni tonked him beyond the sightscreen for a six. He didn’t run off the next ball and hit the bowler through midwicket for a four. From a sedate start where survival was priority, Dhoni and Shahbaz Nadeem, who made 53 (90b, 1x6, 4x4), added 151 runs for the seventh wicket in 166 balls.
It helped Jharkhand reach 243/9, a score that had seemed impossible in the 20th over when they were 57/6. The journey from being patchy to the world’s best finisher is far from over but Dhoni is showing the willingness to grit through it.
Brief scores: Jharkhand 243/9 in 50 overs (Dhoni 129, Nadeem 53; AK Singh 4/33, Pankaj Rao 3/27) beat Chattisgarh 165 all out in 38.4 overs (Aaron 3/26, Nadeem 3/36).