Matches where Dhoni’s last shots made his team win

Matches where Dhoni’s last shots made his team win – In his almost 15 yearlong cricketing career, MS Dhoni has been called many things. His captaincy tricks being called as ‘Mahi way’, his cool demeanour behind the stumps and amid tough situations as ‘captain cool’ but nothing more resonates his title of ‘best finisher in the world’  when he single handed bailed the team out of tough situations.

Matches where Dhoni's last shots made his team win

There was a time when the cricketing fraternity used to bet whether Dhoni finishing off the game for India with a six. With such respect and the new-found form in the recently concluded IPL, MS Dhoni brings in the much-required x-factor if the team has to win the world cup this time. Though there are many times when his last shot resulted in the team’s winning, we would cherish some of those unforgettable moments here today.

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Matches where Dhoni’s last shots made his team win

MSD announced his arrival with a massive 183 against Sri Lanka

Set a tricky score of 299, India had lost Sachin early when MSD walked in to join Virendra Sehwag and a massive task was on his head. Having cemented his place in the squad with a thumping 148 against Pakistan, the team had promoted him to number 3 expecting a similar knock. And MSD did not disappoint his captain by hitting a massive 183. Pacers with the likes of Vaas were smacked out of the park, Muralitharan was swept and it was an absolute carnage there. He finished the match with an unbeaten 183 thereby announcing his arrival on the big screen.

Dhoni’s Lahore heroics against Pakistan earned him praise from Musharraf

MS Dhoni was the catalyst on whom the team’s fortune had largely changed in the years 2005-06, the Pakistan tour was the one where he made the team feel empty without him. It was a tricky score of 289 which Pakistan had set batting first. Tendulkar gave India a solid start with a breath-taking 95 but India middle-order collapse saw India tottering at 190 for five in the 35th over. Dhoni Joined Yuvraj Singh and smashed the bowling to all parts of the ground. Yuvraj’s show on the other side was soon eclipsed with Dhoni finishing the match with a fiery knock of 72 not out off 46 balls with 14 balls to spare. He was praised by then Pakistan President General Musharraf at the end of the game. He said, ‘I saw a placard asking you to have a haircut. But, if you were to take my opinion, you look good in this haircut.’

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Matches where Dhoni’s last shots made his team win

Dhoni donned a new role of Captaincy with a 50 Not out against Sri Lanka at Adelaide

Matches where Dhoni's last shots made his team win

Before being named as the captain of the side, Dhoni had carried the image of a dasher and somebody whose batting force was hitting through the line but it suddenly changed when he was named the captain of the side in the Tri-series against Sri Lanka and Australia. He took the responsibility of finishing the inning when he was tasked with taking it with the lower order. And he took it with both hands by scoring 50 without hitting a single boundary. It was the time when he grew out of the shell.

Dhoni Winning the game against West Indies with a last over six

Another inning where Dhoni showed his maturity of taking it deep, something which became a habit as well in the coming and something for he was criticized as well. this was one such inning where he walked at number 3 and took the game to the last over requiring 11 to win. Yusuf Pathan gave Dhoni the strike with a single, on the next ball of which he hit a massive six bringing curtains to the proceedings. This was one game where his prowess of finishing the game was fully acknowledged.

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Matches where Dhoni’s last shots made his team win

One which trumps all his records- a massive 91 to help India lift the World Cup

Matches may come and matches may go but this match would remain etched in the minds of every Indian. A final of the world cup, a bigger stage and millions of people watching – this was one game which could make or break anyone’s career. After the fall of Virat Kohli, Dhoni promoted himself ahead of an in-form Yuvraj Singh. Some eyebrows were raised but by the time the match ended, all the raised eyebrows were filled with pride.

Matches where Dhoni's last shots made his team win

Such was the aura when chasing 275 in Mumbai, Dhoni made a skillful 91 when he was not blowing guns the whole tournament. Starting off with ones and twos, he found his tempo off Muralitharan when he punched him through covers for two boundaries and who can forget his finishing six over mid-on – an iconic finish to a campaign which had lifted India to the world stage. A six which Sunil Gavaskar quoted that he wanted to see it again before he dies. It was a massive victory and MS Dhoni with his calm head was the craftsman of that.

Sri Lankans were again on the receiving end, this time at Tri-series final, Port of Spain (2013)

Sri Lanka stumbled against MS Dhoni once more during the final of the tri-series also featuring West Indies. On a sticky wicket, India was chasing a total of 202. Dhoni had not played the tournament due to injury but played the final. This was when he was faced with a tough situation when Rangana Herath was spitting fire from one end. With 17 requiring off the two overs, Ishant Sharma played down the last over with just 2 runs leaving a massive task to Dhoni with 15 runs to go.

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Shaminda Eranga had bowled well in the innings and was entrusted to bowl the last over. He was nervous as he ran because he knew the batsman in front of him would not be. The first ball was missed but the next was smashed over long on for a six. The third ball flew over point for a four and the match was sealed with a six on the fourth ball over long off. Dhoni smiled and that was it. Another day, another match.

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