MS Dhoni (batting) was set with a Test-like field by KKR. Photo courtesy: Twitter
MS Dhoni (batting) was set with a Test-like field by KKR. Photo courtesy: Twitter

MS Dhoni was faced with a Test-like field setting by Gautam Gambhir in Match 45 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) smashed past Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) in a match marred by rain. Chasing 66 to win in 9 overs via the Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method, KKR overcame a double strike in the first over to win easily by 8 wickets with as many as 24 balls to spare. Rain had stopped play earlier with RPS reeling at 103 for 6 in 17.4 overs. Dhoni, who was unbeaten, looked completely out of his depth as he crawled to an agonising 8 runs off 22 balls. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rising Pune Supergiants, IPL 2016, Match 45 at Kolkata

It was in the course of Dhoni’s innings that opposition skipper Gambhir resorted to the outlandish fielding positions. Gambhir used two slips, a short leg, and a silly point to keep Dhoni quiet, and it worked with remarkable efficiency. It is a method other captains may use in the future to keep Dhoni at bay. MATCH REPORT: Yusuf Pathan, Kolkata Knight Riders spinners star in crushing victory over Rising Pune Supergiants in IPL 2016 Match 45

As reported by IANS, with the win KKR go second on the points table with 7 wins from 10 games, while Pune stay at the bottom. For the Knights Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey remained unbeaten on 37 and 15 runs respectively. The hosts had a disastrous start to their run-hunt with Gautam Gambhir (0) and Robin Uthappa(4) both falling prey to Ravichandran Ashwin in the first over with the score reading 8 for 2. However, Pandey and Pathan were unfazed by the situation and started off on the highest gear. Pandey first plundered 13 runs of the second over and then Pathan followed it up with a massive 22-run over against Ashwin.

As Twitter user @Sampathb24 pointed out, this was not the first time Gambhir has set such a field for Dhoni.

 

Murugan Ashwin too faced the wrath of Pathan as he belted him for a boundary and then a huge six down the ground in the 4th over. In the first innings, from the outset, the Knights were able to make early inroads into the Supergiants unit even though they had elected to bat. First to depart was Ajinkya Rahane (2) who tried a wild slog and lost his wicket in the process. It was a hostile welcome given by KKR to rival captain Dhoni as his counterpart Gautam Gambhir surrounded him with men around the bat, a sight not often seen in T20 cricket.

The ploy almost worked for the home side as Dhoni nearly played one onto his stumps. Runs came in singles as KKR further tightened their grip on proceedings. Thereafter Irfan Pathan fell short of his crease as Dhoni called for a cheeky run. The 100 finally came up in the 17th over as Thisara Perera lofted Chawla into the stands, but the very next ball he was out holed out at long on.