New Delhi: Manoj Tiwary played the sheet-anchor’s role to perfection as he guided Rising Pune Supergiant to 162/4 against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday to lay the foundation stone for the team’s entry into the final of this edition of the IPL. But for Tiwary, it was more about living the dream of batting with Dhoni that brought a smile to his face.
Having scored a 48-ball 58 on a tricky Wankhede track, he was called for a chat at the end of the Pune innings and Tiwary made no bones about the fact that he had finally realised his dream of batting with Dhoni.
“It's a dream come true for me," Tiwary said. "I've been part of Indian team before, but haven't got the opportunity to bat with him. Today was a dream for me. It was a pleasure to watch from the other end, how he was hitting sixes. It shows how technique and shape can help along with power.”
With the wicket in Mumbai helping the bowlers, Pune were placed on 121/3 after 18 overs and it looked like they would end somewhere around the 140-run mark. Both Tiwary and Dhoni were struggling with the wicket holding up and the Mumbai bowlers bowling a disciplined line.
But what happened next is stuff legends are made of. Going into the 19th over, Tiwary was the first one to break the shackles as he hit Mitchell McClenaghan for a four and a six. After that, Dhoni took over and hit the pacer for two sixes as Pune collected 26 runs from the 19th over.
In the 20th over, Tiwary decided to take a single and watch the show as Dhoni first went over covers off Jasprit Bumrah and then went for a double off a mistimed pull. The next one was headed straight over the sightscreen as Dhoni cleared his left leg and went up and over.
Even though Tiwary was run out of the last ball, the damage had been done as Pune picked 15 from the last over. In fact, they picked 41 off the 73 runs they added for the 4th wicket off the last 12 balls. Dhoni though was unbeaten on 40 off 26 balls with 5 sixes. His strike-rate read 153.84