MS Dhoni’s brilliance behind the wickets is well-established. He is quick, smart and more importantly has match awareness which enables him to produce moments of magic that change the game. The Indian wicket-keeper produced one such moment of magic in the fifth ODI against New Zealand as he ran Jimmy Neesham out with his smartness.
The incident occurred in the 37th over of New Zealand’s innings. On the second ball of the over, Kedar Jadhav bowled a slider which Neesham tried to sweep. He missed the stroke and the ball struck on his pads.
The Indian players appealed for an LBW but the umpire wasn’t interested. Meanwhile, Neesham didn’t know that that the ball after hitting his pad was just behind the stumps close to Dhoni.
He thought of stealing a leg-bye and went out of his crease. Dhoni saw Neesham leaving the crease and he quickly grabbed the ball and disrupted the stumps with an under-arm throw.
Neesham was run-out by a close margin and India got a wicket at a crucial moment in the game.
Neesham was playing really well until that point and had scored 44 runs of just 31 balls. At that moment the hosts needed 77 runs off 14 overs and Neesham was the last recognised batsman.
Hence the hosts’ hope were pinned on the left-hand batsman and he was looking in good touch. But Dhoni’s incredible match-awareness delivered the knock-out blow to the hosts and India went on to win the game by 35 runs.
Meanwhile India won the ODI series 4-1 and completed their dominance over New Zealand. Like the fourth ODI, India were once again in deep trouble as they lost four wickets for just 18 runs.
But Ambati Rayudu, Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya bailed India out and pushed the total to 252 runs which Indian bowlers defended with courage.