Watch: In one of the most memorable moments in India’s World T20 history, MS Dhoni playfully defended the final ball of the 19th over so that Virat Kohli could hit the winning runs in the 2014 semi-final against South Africa.
Kohli played majestically for a 44-ball 72* in the game, masterfully guiding India to the 173-run target. The knock was so good that at one point, he described it as his best T20 innings.
Dhoni, who came in to bat in the 19th over, was on strike when India needed one run off seven balls to win the game. The then-India skipper and Kohli then flashed knowing smiles at each other, with Dhoni just a run away from hitting the winning runs in yet another game.
However, as he so often did throughout his career, Dhoni surprised fans and experts alike by what he did next. With India practically through and NRR not in play anymore, the India skipper decided to let Kohli have his moment. Dhoni playfully played a defensive block on the final ball of the 19th over, giving the strike back to his deputy.
Kohli seemingly wasn’t aware of the plan, leaving his ground at the non-striker’s end in an attempt to run the winning single. But Dhoni stayed put and tucked his bat under his arm, unflappable as ever. He gave Kohli a knowing nod, even as the top-order batsman threw his arms wide in disagreement at Dhoni’s gesture.
It was all smiles in the end. Kohli finished the match with a trademark midwicket whip for a boundary on the first ball of the 20th over.
Watch how MS Dhoni played a deliberate dot ball to allow Virat Kohli to hit winning runs in the World T20:
#OnThisDay in 2014, a special gesture from MS Dhoni 🙌
When India needed just one in seven balls, Captain Cool played a perfect defensive stroke, giving Virat Kohli the chance to hit the winning runs. pic.twitter.com/XB4ecZ2Fzy
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) April 4, 2021
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