Vol. 5 Num 1046 Sat. May 12, 2007  

Dhoni savours knock

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who defied cramps to fashion an Indian victory in the first of the three-match one-day cricket series against Bangladesh, yesterday termed his unbeaten 91 as one of the most memorable innings of his career.

Dhoni fought a cramped right hamstring to take his team home with a fine 107-run unfinished partnership with Dinesh Kaarthick (58), as India scored a five-wicket win to go one up in the series.

Asked if the knock signalled his return to form after some average performances at the World Cup, he said "I would not like to link this with anything." When a scribe asked him to compare the knock with the innings of 183 (against Sri Lanka) and 147 (against Pakistan) earlier in his career, he said "I don't like to compare but this is one I would rate with the one against Zimbabwe (in 2005) when India were down to five wickets for some 100 odd runs." Referring to his cramps, Dhoni, who was adjudged man of the match, said "I had enormous pain in my right leg. But I knew I had to carry on. It's not easy to bat under those hot conditions.

"Once Yuvraj came in as my runner we decided to carry on till the 47th over. There were some confusion between us, but Yuvi took few excellent singles for me," he said.

Dhoni also lauded Kaarthick for his admirable support. "Kaarthik played a perfect role at the other end."