Dhoni shines and India level ODI series one-all

Kersi - Dhoni-plays-a-shot4









By Kersi Meher-Homji

MS Dhoni answered his critics with a scintillating 92 and imaginative captaincy to lead India to a 22 run win over a strong South African team in the second one-day international (ODI) at Indore yesterday to level the series one-all.

Dhoni was badly criticised for losing the first ODI at Kanpur by five runs on Sunday (11th October) by not firing in the last few overs. Now the exciting series is locked 1-all.

The first ODI at Kanpur was a thriller with the result in doubt till the last ball. But South Africa’s 20 year-old fast bowler Kagiso Rabada holding his nerve. He did not allow India 11 runs in the final over.

With Dhoni to bat, 11 runs in the last pulsating over appeared gettable but he was dismissed off the third last ball and India lost.

One can only sympathise with opener Rohit Sharma hitting a majestic 150 with 13 fours and six sixes and be still be on the losing side.

South Africa batted first and amassed 7 for 303 thanks to skipper and eventual Man of the Match AB de Villiers reaching his century off the last ball of the innings. Sharma attacked with gusto but other batsmen apart from Ajinkya Rahane (60) disappointed and India fell five runs short.

However, India made it up in the second ODI at Indore last night. Apart from Rahane (51) India kept losing wickets but were lifted by Man of the Match Dhoni’s sparkling innings of 92 not out which included seven fours and four sixes.

Still India’s 9 for 247 looked inadequate as S Africans started their batting with a flourish. But India’s spinners Axar Patel and Harbhajan Singh and later quickie Bhuvneshwar Kumar took vital wickets and India won by 22 runs with 38 balls in hand.

Three more ODIs will be played; at Rajkot on 18th, Chennai on 22nd and Mumbai on 25th October. So Aussie-Indians cricket fans, get ready to stay up till 2 to 3 in the morning to watch more thrillers.


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