IPL Throwback: When Dhoni nearly pulled off a heist against Kings XI Punjab

It was, until one point, a dead contest brought to life only by Dhoni's brutal powerhitting which set Chennai on course for an improbable heist.

Dhoni's 44-ball 79 nearly pulled off a heist against the Kings XI Punjab in Mohali last year.   -  akhilesh kumar

Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni returns to the P.C.A Stadium in Mohali, where last year, against the Kings XI Punjab, his unbeaten 44-ball 79 brought Chennai on the cusp of win before the host side stole a four-run victory.

Chasing 198 to win, Dhoni — albeit troubled by a stiff back — was on 33 off 28 balls, with Super Kings requiring 65 off 21 balls. It was, until that point, a dead contest brought to life only by Dhoni's brutal powerhitting which set Chennai on course for an improbable heist. 

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The veteran keeper batsman brought up his 50 off 34 balls to bring the equation down to 36 off two overs. What followed left, not only the Punjab fielders but the crowd, gasping for breath.

Dhoni was struggling with a stiff back, but showed no signs of relenting with the bat.   -  akhilesh kumar

 

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Dhoni clobbered Punjab's death-overs specialist Andrew Tye for 19 runs off the penultimate over with 17 needed off the last over. Dhoni wrapped up the innings with a monstrous six off Mohit Sharma (then with Punjab) but three excellent wide yorkers from Sharma meant Chennai fell just short of the total.

"The back is pretty bad, but god has given me lot of power and I don't need to use my back a lot. My arms can do the job," Dhoni had said after his whirlwind knock.

Almost a year-later, Dhoni has yet another chance to set the record straight when his team takes on the Ravichandran Ashwin-led Punjab in its backyard on Sunday.