IPL

Patel the hero as Challengers survive Dhoni's devastating display

By Sports Desk April 21, 2019

Royal Challengers Bangalore's resurgence continued despite MS Dhoni's heroics as Parthiv Patel's final-ball direct hit earned the Indian Premier League's bottom side a thrilling one-run win over leaders Chennai Super Kings.

Patel (53) had underpinned the Challengers' innings as they made 161-7, with Deepak Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo each taking two wickets apiece for Chennai.

Dale Steyn then claimed two dismissals in the opening over of Chennai's innings and, at 28-4 at the end of the powerplay, they had it all to do when Dhoni (84 not out) arrived, yet the 37-year-old dragged his team to the brink of victory with 24 runs off the first five balls of the final over.

That meant Chennai needed two from the final ball to win with Dhoni on strike, yet Umesh Yadav's delivery went through to Patel behind the stumps and he beat Shardul Thakur's dive to run him out, clinching a third win in four for Bangalore.

Du Plessis atones for drop in the field

Dhoni's team started brightly, with Bangalore captain Virat Kohli out in the third over, yet Faf du Plessis looked to have made a costly error when he misjudged AB de Villiers' shot to him at mid off and could only get his fingertips to the ball.

De Villiers appeared in the mood when he reached 25 off 19 balls and he dispatched Jadeja's shorter ball to the long-off boundary, but his compatriot did not put down another chance.

It was one of two catches made by Du Plessis – who has now taken 10 in this year's IPL – though his most impressive act was the role he played in removing Marcus Stoinis (14) as he shovelled the ball up to Dhruv Shorey while falling over the rope to claim a brilliant assist.

Steyn sets the tone again as Dhoni's effort comes up short

Bangalore's dismal start to the IPL campaign owed much to their feeble bowling attack, which has been rejuvenated since Steyn returned in a 10-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders last time out.

The Challengers had taken only three wickets in the powerplays of their first eight matches, but have now taken seven in their past two, with Steyn (2-29) and Yadav (2-47) laying the foundations again.

Steyn accounted for Shane Watson, who edged to slip, and bowled Suresh Raina in the opening over, while De Villiers took routine catches off Yadav's bowling to dismiss Du Plessis and Kedar Jadhav. That left Chennai 28-4, a position that ultimately proved too much to come back from despite Dhoni's brilliance.

Dhoni reached his half-century off 35 balls with one of his seven sixes. He then dragged his team into a position to triumph with three maximums in the final over – including one that went out of the stadium – but his failure to get bat on ball at the death allowed Patel to be the match-winner instead.

Related items

  • Cricket World Cup 2019: India great Dhoni should bat four in likely World Cup farewell Cricket World Cup 2019: India great Dhoni should bat four in likely World Cup farewell

    The 2019 World Cup could be the last in the storied career of MS Dhoni, whose time in the international game has been marked by his longevity and remarkable consistency.

    Known as 'Captain Cool' during his time skippering India, Dhoni has compiled a resume that will secure his legacy as one of their greats. He was captain when India topped the Test rankings for the first time in 2009, unforgettably led them to 2011 World Cup glory on home soil and also lifted the T20 World Cup and Champions Trophy in 2007 and 2013 respectively.

    He will not be skipper for their World Cup campaign in England. That responsibility has long since been handed over to Virat Kohli. However, a willingness to move Dhoni into a more prominent role in the batting line-up may be key to India's hopes of stopping the home nation, who are favourites to lift the trophy as they aim for an elusive triumph in a major ODI event.

    The number four spot is an area of concern for India, with all-rounder Vijay Shankar currently an unpopular choice in the problem position.

    Shankar has yet to score an ODI half-century in nine appearances, his highest score of 46 coming against Australia in Nagpur last month.

    With no senior experience of batting on English surfaces, Shankar is undoubtedly a gamble, even if the decks are expected to be flatter than usual. A painful blow to his right forearm when facing left-arm paceman Khaleel Ahmed in the nets last Friday is unlikely to have done much for his confidence.

    Shankar sat out the weekend warm-up game against New Zealand, where Kohli's men were walloped by six wickets with 12.5 overs to spare. KL Rahul batted at four in his absence and was bowled by Trent Boult for six.

    Dhoni, vastly experienced in numerous positions throughout the line-up, would surely provide a safer option.

    Largely deployed further down the order over recent years, Dhoni has often been tasked with getting India over the line or rescuing a situation, and he frequently excels at doing so. 

    Indeed, Dhoni has 890 runs in 33 ODI innings at an average of 44.50 when batting at seven, but compare those numbers to his figures when he comes in second-wicket down - 1,358 runs at an average of 56.58 - and the case for him providing support to the top order grows stronger.

    This is a World Cup filled with fearsome fast bowling attacks. England, Australia, South Africa and Pakistan all boast bowlers capable of producing searing pace, while in Tim Southee and Trent Boult New Zealand have a pair of seamers expertly adept at generating movement on English surfaces.

    Combatting those attacks will be vital for India in a competition that has reverted back to a format last used in 1992. Only four teams progress from a 10-team group, in which all teams will face off once.

    Dhoni could be vital to them doing so. He is extremely well versed in how to defy the world's best fast bowling units and, as the moniker he had during his time as captain suggests, has consistently showcased the composure to deliver in the biggest moments.

    That calm in high-pressure situations may be of greater use at four, to provide better protection towards the top of a batting line-up set to be filled with World Cup debutants and more questions than answers in the middle and lower order.

    Few players have given more to cricket in his country than Dhoni and he is deserving of a triumphant World Cup send-off. The best way for that come to pass is by putting more responsibility on the shoulders of one of India's most dedicated servants.

  • Taylor, Fletcher take top billing as Windies Women dominate Ireland Taylor, Fletcher take top billing as Windies Women dominate Ireland

    Windies Women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor’s blistering half-century was backed up by a four-for from spinner Afy Fletcher as the team registered a 64-run win over Ireland, in the first match of the three-match T20I series in Dublin on Sunday.

    The Windies were off to a slow start after Hayley Matthews was dismissed for 3 runs in the fourth over.  After joining Britney Cooper at the crease, Taylor went straight to work as she cracked her 75 off just 53 balls.  The innings included 11 fours and one six. 

    Taylor and Cooper took the team past the half-century mark for the second wicket.  The partnership was, however, broken when Sophie MacMohan dismissed Cooper for 17.

     Shermaine Campbell then joined Taylor at the crease and the two rapidly accelerated the score, putting on 75 from 47 balls, before the team ended with 139 for 4.

    In response, Ireland’s number three batsman Kim Garth was the only one to offer up any resistance, after scoring 46 from 55 balls.  The rest of the line-up failed to get into double figures as they were meekly dismissed for 75 in 18.4 overs.  Fletcher ended with impressive figures of 4 for 14, with Chinelle Henry claiming 2 for 15.

     

  • Shai Hope is one of the five best batsmen in the World Shai Hope is one of the five best batsmen in the World

    Windies batsman Shai Hope jumped five places to enter the top five of the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings for batting after his splendid performances in the recent tri-nation series in Ireland. 

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.