Mahendra Singh Dhoni lashed a last-ball boundary to cap a terrific half-century to steer Rising Pune Supergiant to a thrilling second victory at home, by six wickets against holders Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Saturday. (Scorecard)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni rediscovered his finishing touch to leave Rising Pune Supergiant needing 11 runs off six deliveries, and two off the final delivery by pace bowler Siddarth Kaul. The former India skipper smashed it to the extra cover fence, taking RPS to 179 for four chasing the victory target of 177 set by Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Opting to bowl after winning the toss, Rising Pune Supergiant were left facing a challenging total after Moises Henriques slammed his second half-century of the 2017 IPL. Rahul Tripathi helped the hosts to get off to a terrific start with a 41-ball 59, but a few quick wickets seemed to be turning it into a lost battle until Dhoni slammed an unbeaten 61 off 34 deliveries to help his side cross the finish line. (Highlights)
Despite having an explosive top three in David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson, Sunrisers Hyderabad got off to one of the slowest starts in 2017 IPL, taking just 45 runs in the six powerplay overs.
David Warner took 40 balls to score 43 while Shikhar Dhawan’s strike rate was a tad over 100, scoring 30 runs off 29 deliveries. Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson, who struck a terrific 89 in the last game, too failed to build on a brilliant start as he fell for 21. With the team going at around seven runs per over, Moises Henriques arrived and took on the bowlers to steer his side towards a big total.
Once Warner fell, Henriques was supported by Deepak Hooda, who scored a 10-ball 19 in a 47 run partnership off 21 deliveries. Henriques was at his aggressive best as he struck six boundaries and two sixes with almost all his shots coming off the middle of the bat.
When Rising Pune Supergiant chased, Tripathi slammed Bhuvneshwar Kumar for two consecutive boundaries after the first two overs yielded just five runs. Though Ajinkya Rahane fell in the next over, he showed no signs of slowing down. Tripathi had a slice of luck with Bipul Sharma dropping a tough chance off the first ball in the fifth over. He took full advantage to send the next ball out of the park before following it up with a boundary.
He showed no restraint, reaching his half-century in 32 balls with a punch down to the cover region. It was a brilliant knock by the 26-year-old with his shots timed to perfection. However, a brilliant throw from Rashid Khan found him a couple of yards short of the crease. Still, he had set a perfect platform for his side to chase down the total.
RPS skipper Steve Smith couldn’t build on his start, and once Stokes fell in the 17th over, all hopes were pinned on Dhoni, who had been struggling until Saturday. His side still needed 56 off 23 deliveries and the previous RPS skipper kept his calm while unleashing himself on the bowling. He struck five boundaries and three sixes, including one that brought up his half-century as he plundered the bowling to help regain the momentum.
Manoj Tiwary helped him at the other end with a quickfire, eight-ball 17 but with two required off the last ball and Dhoni on strike, the odds were always against Siddarth Kaul.