India’s wicketkeeper batsman MS Dhoni silenced all his doubters by scoring a blazing fifty in the second T20I against South Africa in Centurion on Wednesday (February 21). Dhoni scored 52 runs off 28 balls as India set a highly competitive target of 189 for the Proteas.
After being put into bat by South Africa skipper JP Duminy, India lost their consistent top three for just 45 runs. While Rohit Sharma (0 off 1 ball) and Virat Kohli (1 off 5 balls) became the victims of Junior Dala, Shikhar Dhawan got dismissed by Duminy for 24.
It was a rare failure for India’s top-order and hence the middle-order got an opportunity to prove their worth. At first, comeback man Suresh Raina (30 off 24 balls) added a 45-run stand for the fourth wicket with Manish Pandey, who finished with a special innings of 48-ball 79*.
Raina got trapped in front by Phehlukwayo in the 11th over which brought Dhoni to the crease. The 36-year-old Dhoni then put on an unbeaten 98-run partnership with Pandey as India finished on 188 in their quota of 20 overs.
While Dhoni’s fast and furious fifty was laced with 4 boundaries and 3 sixes, Manish’s herculean effort comprised of 6 four’s and 3 sixes.
Seeing Dhoni and Pandya’s awe-inspiring show in the last 10 overs, Twitteratis went berserk in their praise for the dynamic duo.
Here are some of the tweets:
Back foot over cover for 6! Off a fast bowler! Shot of the day from Dhoni. Guess last over is his territory!!— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 21, 2018
Last 4 overs 55 . Hathyar chalana nahi bhoolein, Special hits from a special player , Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Great effort from Pandey as well. Best wishes to the bowlers to defend 188— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 21, 2018
It seems that I missed some vintage Dhoni stuff...happiness is to see the Indian middle-order clicking. ???????????? #SAvIND— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 21, 2018
Incredible 6 by Dhoni, hitting it backfoot over cover, then 4, 4 on the onside & 2 to reach 50 in last over. How's that for a finish!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) February 21, 2018
#Dhoni on ????. Watching a t 20 after long let’s gooo indiaaaaa— Varun Dhawan (@Varun_dvn) February 21, 2018
Waah ! Dhoni , kya maara. Great innings from Manish Pandey and MS Dhoni and 188 is a very competitive score #SAvIND— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) February 21, 2018
Wow! Vintage finish by Dynamite #Dhoni ... and a backbone knock from Manish Pandey ????????????— Gaurav Kapur (@gauravkapur) February 21, 2018
Another reason why Dhoni has to move up the order, not down. The ????took off and was in no mood to land at Centurion. Brilliant 50. #SAvIND— Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) February 21, 2018