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India vs Sri Lanka: MS Dhoni stumps visitors’ fortunes in Visakhapatnam

MS Dhoni’s stumping of Upul Tharanga for 95 changed the course of the deciding ODI at the ACA-VDCA stadium as Sri Lanka suffered a dramatic collapse to help India back into the contest.

cricket Updated: Dec 17, 2017 20:48 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Visakhapatnam
India vs Sri Lanka,Indian cricket team,Sri Lankan cricket team
Indian cricket team player Kuldeep Yadav celebrates with teammate MS Dhoni the dismissal of Sri Lanka's Upul Tharanga in the 3rd and final ODI in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. (PTI)

When one enters the city of Vizag, people are greeted with hoardings saying “Welcome to the city of destiny.” Visakhapatnan was named the ‘City of Destiny’ by Dr CR Reddy, former vice chancellor of Andhra University, who believed the city would become the best in the future. (IND v SL updates)

On Sunday, in the deciding game of the ODI series between India and Sri Lanka at the ACA-VDCA stadium, with the series on the line, there was a moment which changed the course of the match. (IND v SL scorecard)

The man behind this game-changer was MS Dhoni, the former captain of the Indian cricket team.

Sri Lanka had started off aggressively after being inserted into bat. Upul Tharanga had taken the attack to the Indian cricket team bowlers, particularly Hardik Pandya whom he smashed for five consecutive fours in the ninth over of the innings.

The left-hander also became the third batsmen to go past 1000 runs in 2017. In the 28th over of the innings, Tharanga was eyeing his 16th century when Dhoni changed Sri Lanka’s destiny.

Kuldeep Yadav bowled a legbreak which spun away and Tharanga went for the drive, the batsman lunged forward and looked to make contact but missed it, Dhoni whipped the bails off in the blink of an eye and appealed.

Replays highlighted that Tharanga’s back foot was on the line when the bails were taken off and the batsman was given out. In the same over, four balls later, Kuldeep removed Niroshan Dickwella for 8 and Sri Lanka’s tumble began.

The wicket of Tharanga gave India the opening and the Sri Lankan cricket team lost their last eight wickets for 55 runs to be bowled out for 215 in 44.1 overs.

Lightning quick Dhoni

Tharanga’s quick stumping was not the first time the former India skipper had effected such a dismissal. During the Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka in September, Dhoni had Angelo Mathews stumped rapidly off Yuzvendra Chahal.

In the second ODI against Australia in Kolkata, Glenn Maxwell was the victim as he was stumped in a blink of an eye.

Dhoni’s magnificent stumping would earn him a unique world record in the next ODI in Indore as he became the first wicketkeeper in history to effect 100 stumpings for India when he had Maxwell stumped again.

Dhoni’s ‘destiny’ changing moment in Visakhapatnam is one of the key factors in India’s quest for a record eighth consecutive bilateral series title.

First Published: Dec 17, 2017 18:57 IST