The cyclonic depression made way for bright sunshine when the game began. But by late evening, Kings XI Punjab was destroyed by the M. S. Dhoni storm with the willow (64 not out, 32b, 4x4, 5x6). The Rising Pune Supergiants captain played a game-changing innings that helped his team end on a winning note in an otherwise dismal season. He smashed 22 runs in the last over, as Pune Supergiants registered a thrilling four-wicket win at the Dr.YSR ACA-VDCA Stadium here on Saturday night.

> Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Chasing 173 to win, it looked as though Pune might go down, especially with 23 runs needed off the last over, bowled by left-arm spinner Axar Patel. However, Dhoni showcased his awesome hitting, particularly when 12 runs were needed off the last two balls. He imperiously swung the penultimate ball for a six and then came up with his famed helicopter shot over mid-wicket for another to trigger celebrations in his team’s dug-out. READ: >MS took the game away, says Bangar

Dhoni's wagon wheel


The fact that Dhoni let his partner Ashwin face just one ball in the 11-ball partnership, which produced 39 runs, was a tribute to the self-belief of the Pune captain though his best came in an inconsequential match.


Pune struggled right through the innings and was reduced to 86 for five in the 14th over when Dhoni was joined by the other big-hitter Thisara Perera. The two put on 66 runs for the sixth wicket off 32 balls to give the team a scent of victory.

Vijay, Gurkeerat shine

Earlier, captain Murali Vijay and Gurkeerat Singh Mann struck breezy half-centuries to help Kings XI Punjab post a challenging score of 172 for seven. Vijay hit his first four only in the fourth over of the innings but opened up later to essay some of his trademark clean hits. The huge sixes into the stands off pacers Deepak Chahar and Thisara Perera, and also off leg-spinner Adam Zampa, showed Vijay’s admirable stroke selection.

Hashim Amla, who began by hitting Irfan Pathan for two boundaries in the first over, was out to a soft dismissal off star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the eighth over. Soon, Wriddhiman Saha, caught in two minds, ended up steering one from Adam Zampa to the lone slip fielder, R. Ashwin, who brought off a smart catch to reduce Punjab to 62 for two in 8.3 overs.

Vijay and Gurkeerat Singh Mann then put on a 58-run stand (43 balls) for the third wicket before the former was bowled by a straighter one from R. Ashwin while going for a big heave on the onside.

Later, it was the flamboyance of Gurkeerat Singh Mann that propped up the Punjab innings, as he struck some lusty blows, even treating Irfan Pathan and R. Ashwin with disdain.

Just when he was threatening to cut loose, the wily Ashwin foxed him in the 18th over with change of pace to induce a mistimed stroke. In the same over, he also trapped out-of-form David Miller plumb in front. The off-spinner ended with a creditable four-wicket haul.