MS Dhoni has been under some real scrutiny since stepping down as Test captain. His relevance in the Indian side has been questioned one too many times. However, on the 17th of September, Dhoni ‘the finisher’ reminded the world exactly why he had been given that nickname as he brought his side home during the first international Help for Heroes Twenty20 match. Dhoni who was part of the all-star line-up finished off the innings with a couple of big boundaries reminiscent of his 2011 World Cup finish against Sri Lanka.
It was a wonderful evening at the Oval, flocks of people had come to support the cause and watch some legends on the field once again. ‘Rest of the World’ led by Brendon McCullum elected to bat. It was quite something to see all these international superstars play together. Graeme Smith fell early but Matthew Hayden, Brian Lara built back up and Mahela Jayawardena put on a show for the crowd with a flourish of boundaries. He brought up his 48 in just 28 balls with six beautiful boundaries. Backed up by Brendon McCullum (who was wearing a GoPro) and Scott Styris they reached 158.
The Help for Heroes XI however, responded as lavishly. Captain Andrew Strauss and Virender Sehwag got off to a flyer and Dhoni (backed up by Middlesex player, Dawid Malan) finished off the game to an encore of his name, a few boundaries and three balls to spare. It was an incredible evening for everyone and the charity raised £250,000. Hopefully it will become an annual fixture where people can come and enjoy watching their favourite players altogether.