RPS v SRH, Player of the Match: M.S. Dhoni

Dhoni, with his brutally powerful bottom-hand and super-flexible wrists, plundered 17 runs in the penultimate over by Kumar. Then, in the final over off Kaul, with a boundary through extra-cover, Dhoni prevailed in a classic last-ball finish.

Dhoni, as always, kept his calm and guided the team to victory with a last-ball finish.   -  PTI

“There is no run-rate that is high,” said Mahendra Singh Dhoni after finishing the match for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS).

Well, of course. For him, it isn’t.

“It boils down to how well the opposition bowlers execute. So seven, eight, nine, ten, doesn't matter. What matters is keeping your calmness."

In the death overs, when hearts thud, nails are chewed, and fingers crossed, Dhoni is calmness personified. He doesn’t appear nonchalant; it’s a no-nonsense, high-alert gaze that gives little away to his guessers. And his fame as a finisher gives the best of the bowlers second thoughts.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul were to bowl the last two overs. The duo, in the last game against Delhi Daredevils, gave away just 18 runs in the last two overs when 34 were there to defend. And, Kumar, with 16 wickets and an economy rate under seven, has been the best bowler, especially at the death, in this tournament.

But there were discussions aplenty during the 19th and 20th overs, before which RPS required 30 to win. Dhoni, by then, in his characteristic manner, raced to 37 off 26 after taking 13 balls to score his first nine runs.

Dhoni, with his brutally powerful bottom-hand and super-flexible wrists, plundered 17 runs in the penultimate over by Kumar. Then, in the final over off Kaul, with a boundary through extra-cover, Dhoni prevailed in a classic last-ball finish.