'Thala is back' - Twitter delighted after MS Dhoni blazes his way to 50* in IPL 2022 opener

Thanks to MS Dhoni, CSK scored 131 runs in their 20 overs.

MS Dhoni
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MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Twitter/CSK)

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It was his first game as a player in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since the 2017 edition when he played for the Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS). And MS Dhoni made it memorable for his fans and himself as well rolling back the clock with some trademark shots. The veteran batter scored his 24th half-century in the cash-rich league and remained unbeaten on 50 off 38 deliveries.

After opting to bowl first, KKR had the defending champions on the ropes picking up early wickets. With a couple of poor shots and a run-out, CSK found themselves in a hole at 61/5 in the 11th over. This is when MS Dhoni came out to bat even as the new skipper Ravindra Jadeja was feeling the pressure of captaincy in his first game itself.

Some quiet overs followed as the duo looked to take the innings deep. Moreover with three overs of spinners left, MS Dhoni was always going to play them out as he couldn’t pick either of Varun Chakaravarthy and Sunil Narine. However, when their overs finished, it was all about the 40-year-old in the last three overs.

Dhoni was 15 off 25 at one stage

With three overs left, CSK only had 84 runs on the board and clearly, they needed the vintage MS Dhoni to make an appearance in the middle. The man was set for a sensational finish and with pacers coming into the attack, it only played into his hands. His arms came into play off the first ball of the 18th over as a fierce cut led the ball racing away to the boundary.

A couple more fours came in the same over and the momentum was suddenly back with the Men in Yellow. MS Dhoni was in his zone and the death overs once again proved fruitful for CSK when was in the middle. Shivam Mavi started the penultimate over well but lost his way at the back end bowling a waist-high full toss and ended up conceding 15 runs.

Then came the famous affair between MS Dhoni and the last overs. Andre Russell was handed the responsibility and the finisher in the veteran batter made sure to churn runs out. The third ball of the over was short and Dhoni smartly played a pull shot in the gap to get a boundary and then came the shot of the match.

Russell missed the yorker only for the 40-year-old youngster to stay deep in the crease and convert it into a full ball. The strong wrists came into play and a sensational flick made the long-on just a spectator. A single came off the next delivery and in no time, MS Dhoni had reached his fifty which was not even in sight when the 18th over began.

CSK had added 47 runs in the last three overs and none other than Dhoni was at the centre stage of their revival. However, it remains to be seen if the score of 131 runs will be enough for CSK to defend.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: