The final over of the Run chase for Rising Pune Supergiants needed 23 runs. On more occasions, The bowling side will be very confident in such a situation. That was until MS Dhoni gave Punjab Kings XI something special.
A dot and a wide left Supergiants needing 22 more off five deliveries in their chase of 173. A six over deep mid-wicket followed, then a dot, and then a four. Supergiants still needed 12 off the last two deliveries but Dhoni the finisher reserved his best for the last, smashing the next two deliveries well clear of the mid-wicket boundary to hand Kings XI Punjab.
“I think Dhoni is pretty remarkable, which probably covered up the performances that were below par, While we chased down 170, we were stuttering along. But individual brilliances helped us crossed the line. What we have been missing through the campaign were the special moments where players play match-winning innings. Steve Smith played a couple. MS Dhoni played one here. We have been good, but we were not outstanding. MS was outstanding and that is the difference between winning and losing.” Stephen Fleming, coach of the Supergiants said
“I have not seen that before. There might have been times that gets out of reach for the other players, today he took it upon himself in winning the game. If you don’t get across the line, you analyse it. But again, he had unbelievable faith and ability to do it. He might have done that with India but I have not seen it in my time with Dhoni. That was part of an extraordinary effort. From finishing point of view, Dhoni has been frustrated. I think that (knock) will go a long way today to give him more confidence. He has been working very hard in the nets. He knew the role he plays is to win games in the back end. We have lost games that we should have won and we won a game here today that we should not have won. That is the nature of T20 but we showed today that we still have that brilliance, we still have the ability to clear the rope when needed. I dare say that it was vintage performance in the sense that we have seen that and come to expect that high standards. We certainly achieved that and exceeded that today.”
“Every game, we competed really well, but couldn’t really close games. The three games which come to my mind are the KKR game, wherein we lost by five or six runs, and then the Royal Challengers game wherein we lost by one run. And again (today) if you’ve got 24 (23) to defend in the last over, obviously you’ll give the bowling team a big, big chance to come out winners. But that was not to be. Basically, those three losses really hurt us, they were really, really close games and had we won those close games, we would have been higher up on the table,” Bangar said.