He was the hero the last time Rising Pune Supergiant played Mumbai Indians, but when the occasion required Mahendra Singh Dhoni to show the world that he is still a pro at finishing games on the biggest stage, Dhoni floundered in the final at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal and the end result was a one-run loss for Pune.
Coming in to bat at the fall of Ajinkya Rahane’s wicket, all Dhoni needed to do was rotate the strike as skipper Steven Smith was going well and Pune needed 59 runs off 49 balls at less than 8 runs an over.
But Dhoni struggled to keep the scoring rate moving as the Mumbai Indians spinners started to pull MI back into the game. During the 5 overs that Dhoni was at the crease, Pune managed to score just 27 runs as RPS handed their arch-rivals the initiative.
Dhoni finally perished in the 17th over having managed to score just 10 runs off 13 balls with a boundary. His strike-rate of 76.92 was just not enough as the team needed 32 off 22 balls when he was caught by Parthiv Patel off Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling.
In fact, not only did Dhoni himself struggle, but also put immense pressure on Smith as the skipper’s scoring rate came down. He finally did release the pressure by reversing sweeping Krunal Pandya for a huge six, but Dhoni was dismissed in the very next over to get Mumbai back into the game.