When MS Dhoni countered Shoaib Akhtar’s ‘deliberate beamer’ to accomplish his maiden Test ton
The Rawalpindi Express tried to ruffle Dhoni with a barrage of bouncers as well.
Updated - Jul 1, 2021 2:59 pm
Back in 2006, MS Dhoni was a swashbuckling batter, who breathed fire whenever he came out to bat. Hardly did he use to go into his shell and rather he showed his attacking instinct irrespective of the bowlers he was facing.
In that year during India’s Test series in Pakistan, the now 39-year-old laid into Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who was at the peak of his powers. In the Faisalabad Test, Dhoni racked up his maiden Test ton off a mere 93 balls.
At the start of his knock, Akhtar tried to ruffle the then youngster with a barrage of bouncers, and the latter faced a bit of difficulty. But once he got his eyes in, there was no stopping Dhoni. The Jharkhand-born raced away to a half-century off 34 balls with seven fours and three massive sixes.
He ended up scoring a 153-ball 148 with 19 fours and four sixes after which Danish Kaneria got him stumped. The match was drawn, but Dhoni hogged the limelight with his maiden Test ton on foreign soil. Ever since then, Dhoni went from strength to strength in his illustrious career.
Akhtar apologised to MS Dhoni
Going down the memory lane, Akhtar had said that Dhoni got under his skin to some extent during the match. The Rawalpindi Express admitted to bowling a ‘deliberate beamer’ out of sheer frustration.
“I think I had bowled an 8-9 over spell in Faisalabad. It was a quick spell and Dhoni scored a hundred. I purposely bowled a beamer to Dhoni and then apologised to him,” Akhtar had said.
“It was the first time in my life I had bowled a beamer purposely. I shouldn’t have done it. I regretted it a lot. He was playing so well and the wickets were so slow. However fast I was bowling, he kept on hitting. I think I got frustrated,” he added.
Akhtar had a rough time in the match as he bowled at an economy of four. Toiling hard for 25 overs, Shoaib could only get rid of Sachin Tendulkar, caught by Kamran Akmal. Dhoni went on to play 90 Tests and scored nearly 5000 runs before he retired in 2014.