MS Dhoni completes landmark of 100 half-centuries in international cricket
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MS Dhoni completes landmark of 100 half-centuries in international cricket

MS Dhoni’s 88-ball 79 -- studded with four boundaries and two sixes -- propelled India to 281/7 in the first ODI against Australia at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. In process, he became the 13th cricketer to complete a century of fifties across all formats.

india vs australia 2017 Updated: Sep 17, 2017 23:19 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times, Chennai
MS Dhoni,India vs Australia,Hardik Pandya
MS Dhoni in action during the first ODI between India and Australia at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. (AP)

MS Dhoni marked his comeback to his second home with a calculated fifty that gave India a defendable score despite a wobbling start in the first ODI against Australia on Sunday. This was Dhoni’s 66th half-century in ODIs and 100th overall across all formats of the game. (India vs Australia 1st ODI Highlights)

The 36-year-old Dhoni is now the 13th cricketer in the history of international cricket to complete a ton of fifties. Among Indians, he is fourth after Sachin Tendulkar (164), Rahul Dravid (146) and Sourav Ganguly (107).

Coming to the crease to chants of ‘Dhoni, Dhoni’ and even ‘CSK, CSK’, MS Dhoni looked typically calm even though India were 64/4 and had lost both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. He started the repair job with Kedar Jadhav by milking the gaps with harmless singles. (India vs Australia 1st ODI Scores) 

Top fitness however meant that Dhoni was easily able to convert some singles into twos. The only time MS Dhoni could have been in trouble was when Jadhav refused a run when he was almost halfway down the pitch. Dhoni was fortunately saved as the direct throw missed the stumps but nobody missed the furious glare he threw back at his partner. Jadhav was dismissed the next delivery.

(Read | Hardik Pandya rescues India with timely half-century vs Australia in Chennai)

That however didn’t derail MS Dhoni’s approach. His strike rate had slumped to almost 50 at one point but Dhoni calmly kept collecting the runs. Hardik Pandya’s breezy 66-ball 83 also helped him keep a low profile till the end of the innings was approaching.

MS Dhoni brought up his fifty with a typically hurried single. His fifty came off 75 deliveries with just one boundary but everything was set to change after that.

He was eventually out for 79 in the 49th over, dismissed for the first time in the last six innings. Dhoni had not been dismissed across four ODIs and the lone T20 International during the Sri Lanka tour.

First Published: Sep 17, 2017 17:43 IST