Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting heaped praise over Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni for his finishing skills in the Qualifier 1 match of IPL 2021 on Sunday.
CSK eked out Delhi Capitals by four wickets at Dubai International Cricket Stadium to secure the first finalist spot in IPL 2021 after Dhoni finished the game in his old style to bring back a lot of memories of his illustrious career.
Vintage MS Dhoni takes CSK to its ninth IPL final
CSK needed 24 runs off the last two overs, and their well-settled opener Ruturaj Gaikwad departed on the very first ball of the penultimate over bowled by Avesh Khan.
Then walked the skipper, promoting himself ahead of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, and dispatched an Avesh Khan’s short ball over the deep mid-wicket for a six to bring the equation down to 13 runs from the final over.
DC skipper Rishabh Pant handed the final over to England pacer Tom Curran ahead of Kagiso Rabada, and the former got the wicket of his countrymen Moeen Ali on the first ball itself. But Dhoni spoiled the party as he smashed three boundaries in a row to finish the game in his traditional style.
If you miss then MS Dhoni is going to make you pay: Ricky Ponting
Ponting said that Dhoni will be remembered as one of the greatest finishers of all time and acknowledged that the bowlers missed their lengths in the last two overs.
“I think he (MS Dhoni) has been one of the greats there is no doubt about that. There was a situation tonight where we were sort of sitting back in the dugout and thinking will Jadeja come next or Dhoni come next. I put my hand up straight up the way and said ‘I am pretty sure Dhoni will come out now and try and ask the game,” Ponting said during a virtual press conference.
“Look we probably didn’t execute as what we needed to him in the last couple of overs and you know if you miss then he is going to make you pay and he has done it for a long time now. Our bowlers missed the areas just a little bit to MS and he certainly made us pay.
“I think when he is done and retired he will definitely be remembered as one of the great finishers of the game has ever seen,” he added.
Earlier, Delhi Capitals rode on opener Prithvi Shaw’s mavericking 60 followed by skipper Rishabh Pant’s unbeaten 51 in support of Shimron Hetmyer’s 24-ball 37 runs to post a competitive total of 172/5.
DC will have another chance to make it through the IPL final when they face either Royal Challengers Bangalore or Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier 2 in Sharjah on Wednesday (October 13).