Vijay Hazare Trophy: Mahendra Singh Dhoni scores 43 runs, but can't prevent Jharkhand losing
More than 1,000 people had turned up at Eden Gardens, simply to see MS Dhoni playing. The Jharkhand skipper did not disappoint, hitting some towering sixes
Kolkata: Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit couple of towering sixes in his 43 but once again failed as a finisher with Karnataka pipping Jharkhand by five runs in a group D league encounter.
More than 1,000 people had turned up at the Eden Gardens, simply to see Dhoni playing. He did bat for a good period but as luck would have it, Jharkhand were all-out for 261 in 49.5 overs after Karnataka scored 266 in 49.4 overs. For Karnataka, IPL specialist Manish Pandey scored 77.
The Jharkhand skipper along with burly Saurabh Tiwary (68) added 81 runs for the fifth wicket after coming to bat at 79 for 4. Dhoni took eight balls to get off the mark with a single off Stuart Binny as Karnataka persisted with spin-seam attack in off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham and Binny.
He took 23 balls to break free when he charged down the track to IPL-10's Indian Rs 2-crore pick Gowtham over midwicket for a huge six and began his assault against debutant seamer T Pradeep.
Robin Uthappa struggled behind the stumps with Dhoni missing a stumping and also a catch. Dhoni changed his bat more than a couple of times as the spectators cheered every shot from the former India captain.
However at the score of 160 with another 100 plus runs to get, Dhoni was bowled as he tried to scoop debutant seamer T Pradeep over fine leg exposing his middle and leg stump.
While Pradeep made it memorable with Dhoni as his maiden wicket at senior level en route to his 2/49, it was off-spinner Gowtham, who was the wrecker-in-chief with his 4/58.
After Dhoni's departure, Tiwary kept Jharkhand in the hunt and once he was removed by Gowtham, Rahul Shukla (24 from 21 balls) and Monu Kumar (17 not out from 10 balls) took the match to the last over with 12 needed to win.
Pacer Prasidh Krishna showed his presence of mind to run out Shukla in the penultimate ball to seal the fate. Earlier, Dhoni won the toss and sent in Karnataka who were bundled out for 266 in 49.4 overs, a competitive total that was possible due to fighting 50's from their skipper Pandey and Ravikumar Samarth (71 from 93 balls; 6x4) ina116-run partnership.
Karnataka lost Robin Uthappa (9) in the second over after the seasoned batsman was castled from an away going delivery by Monu Kumar (2/44), while in-form Mayank Agarwal could not convert his start to be dismissed for 26 by Anand Singh (2/47). The Dhoni-led Jharkhand face Mohammad Kaif-led Chhattisgarh on Sunday.
Brief scores: Karnataka 266; 49.4 overs (Manish Pandey 77, Ravikumar Samarth 71; Rahul Shukla 4/45, Varun Aaron 2/52, Monu Kumar 2/44, Anand Singh 2/47) beat Jharkhand 261 in 49.5
overs (Saurabh Tiwary 68, M S Dhoni 43; K Gowtham 4/58, Prasidh 2/41, T Pradeep 2/49) by five runs.
Fleming said the IPL 2021 title was a recognition of the hard work that the CSK squad has put in.
One of the best finishers in the game, MS Dhoni rolled back the clock on Sunday as he hit three boundaries in the final over to help CSK complete the chase against DC in Qualifier 1 of IPL 2021.
The retention rules have not been laid down as yet and two more teams are set to be added in the 2022 edition of IPL.