Mahendra Singh Dhoni rolled back the years to rescue Chennai Super Kings in the season opener of IPL 2022 with a fighting half-century against Kolkata Knight Riders at Wankhede Stadium. Dhoni scored his 24th IPL half-century to pull CSK to 131/5 in 20 overs after an impressive bowling performance from the KKR unit. The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman scored unbeaten 50 runs off 38 balls as he counter-attacked the KKR bowlers in the death overs to take CSK to a respectable total in the first match of their title defence.
It was Dhoni’s first half-century in IPL since 2019 as it came after 29 innings. In IPL 2019 he scored 84* off 48 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
He also became the oldest Indian player to score a fifty in the Indian Premier League. He scored fifty at the age of 40years and 262 days to get the better of Rahul Dravid’s 40 years and 116 days.
It was a typical MS Dhoni knock as he paced his innings well after starting slow on a tricky batting surface. The veteran wicketkeeper was batting on 7 off 17 balls but he managed to switch gears at the right time to smash 43 off the last 21 balls to complete his half-century in the final over of the innings.
Batting great Sachin Tendulkar was also impressed with Dhoni’s crucial knock in the season opener.
“Well played by @msdhoni. He started slowly but used his experience and a combination of composure, aggression and common sense to get @ChennaiIPL to where they are. Their bowlers will have to bowl exceedingly well to defend the total on this pitch,” Tendulkar tweeted.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) March 26, 2022
Earlier, opting to bowl, Umesh Yadav snapped two wickets, while Varun Chakravarthy (1/23) and Andre Russell (1/38) also kept things in check as CSK found the going tough at the Wankhede stadium.
Apart from Dhoni, newly appointed skipper Ravindra Jadeja (26 not out) and Robin Uthappa (28) also chipped in with useful contributions for CSK to put up a fighting total on the scoreboard.
Chennai Super Kings: 131 for 5 in 20 overs (MS Dhoni 50 not out; Umesh Yadav 2/20).