India’s tour of Australia in 2011-12 was going from bad to worse. After being blanked in the Test series 4-0, the Indian team was looking down the barrel in their third match of the triangular series against the hosts. The men in blue had already lost to the Australians in the series opener and one more defeat was on the cards but when the world’s best finisher is on the pitch then nothing seems impossible. MS Dhoni, who is regarded as one of the finest limited overs batsmen of all time, had given India numerous victories from jaws of defeat and that match was no different.
Chasing an imposing total of 270, the opening pair of Gambhir and Sehwag gave India a solid start by adding 52 runs. Sehwag’s dismissal was followed by in-from Kohli’s, but Gambhir and Rohit Sharma kept up the momentum with some good intelligent cricket in the middle overs and added 76 runs for the third wicket. But Rohit threw his wicket away at a crucial juncture, and a few overs later Gambhir was adjudged leg before wicket on 92. The game was in balance as Australia started to dry up the runs.
Dhoni struggled to find his touch when he came in to bat, and with every passing over the pressure started mounting on him as he was unable to pierce the field. During the Batting Powerplay, he played as many as 13 dot balls and was struggling to time the ball. India needed 73 runs off the last 10 overs, and 40 in the last five. In the penultimate over bowled by spinner Xavier Doherty, India managed only four runs and lost the important wicket of Ravindra Jadeja.
13 runs were needed off the last over and it seemed Dhoni had delayed things far too long.
Only one run came off Clint McKay’s first two balls. With 12 needed off last four balls and the game slipping away from India’s grasp, the world once again witnessed Dhoni’s unbelievable finishing qualities. The captain cool picked a length delivery from outside off and dispatched it over long-on for a massive six. It was a remarkable hit under the pressure situation. The huge six made the bowler, McKay, panic and he bowled a waist-high full-toss off the very next ball, which was caught by Warner on the boundary, but India got three runs as the ball was a no-ball. The next ball was hit for three and India registered their biggest chase in Australia.
Watch the unbelievable finish :
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