MS Dhoni hammered an unbeaten 61 to finally come good and affirm his top-class finisher tag as he guided Rising Pune Supergiant to a six wicket victory over defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in a thrilling Indian Premier League game on Saturday. After a series of flop shows, Dhoni's reputation as a top-notch finisher was at stake, but today the former India skipper was in his elements, smashing a flurry of fours and sixes as Pune rebuild the target of 177 in the final ball of the run chase. The former CSK skipper needed two runs from the final delivery but he hit seamer Siddarth Kaul for a boundary as RPS reached 179 for 4 to the wild celebrations of the home supporters at the MCA Stadium.
MS Dhoni faced 34 deliveries for his unbeaten 61 that included five fours and three sixes.
This was the third victory for Pune from six games and they now have six points.
The home side, on the other hand, have eight points from seven games, after four wins and three losses.
Opening batsman Rahul Tripathi had kept RPS in the hunt with a 41-ball 59 before he was out in the 14th over. Skipper Steve Smith contributed with a 21-ball 27 but he got out early in the 11th over.
In the beginning, the host produced a disciplined bowling effort before a smashing half-century by all-rounder Moises Henriques enabled Sunrisers to reach a competitive 176 for three.
Put into bat, the David Warner side were struggling at 122 for three in the 16th over before Henriques (55 not out) increased the tempo to steal 54 runs in the last four overs, in the able company of middle-order batsman Deepak Hooda (19 not out off 10 balls).
Off to a decent start after being put in to bat, captain David Warner and opener Shikhar Dhawan put on a 55-run stand for the opening wicket before Sunrisers bowlers led by all-rounder Daniel Christian [1\20] and leg-spinner Imran Tahir [1\23] dominated the middle-overs to put brakes on the scoring.