Dhoni's Ranchi run-riot best of CLT20
The Champions League T20 is in its final week, with the group phase over.
Even as we approach the business end of the tournament it is time to look back at some of the best displays in the last two weeks.
We take a look the individual batting efforts that stand out.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
The Chennai Super Kings captain has expectedly done a ‘super’ job.
While his captaincy has ensured his side remains unbeaten in the group phase, MS Dhoni made most of the limited batting opportunities he had.
The innings that stands out in particular is the one against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Ranchi.
Coming to the crease with Chennai on 141 for three, Dhoni was first involved in a 60-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Suresh Raina (84). He then took over, smashing a 19-ball 63 not out, an innings that contained one boundary and as many as eight sixes.
The Dhoni blitzkrieg came in the face of an attack that comprised Dale Steyn.
For the record, the South African was impressive with the ball (two for 23), as was his compatriot JP Duminy (two for 27).
However, the CSK captain took a special liking for Thisara Perera on the day, smashing 34 runs (including five sixes) in the Sri Lankan’s third over, the 18th of the Chennai innings.
Dhoni’s whirlwind innings took the Chennai total to a formidable 202 for four, which proved just about enough - considering the Sunrisers scored 190 for seven in response.
Image: MS Dhoni
Broom's unbeaten 117 was one of the best innings ever
Arguably one of the best innings in Twenty20 cricket ever, Neil Broom’s unbeaten 117 against Perth Scorchers in Jaipur was a class act.
With Otago Volts having lost two early wickets, including that of skipper Brendon McCullum, it seemed Broom and new batsman Derek de Boorder (45) would concentrate on preserving their wickets.
Instead, the duo took the attack to the opposition, adding 67 runs for the third wicket.
Thereafter, Broom added another 128 for the fourth with Ryan ten Doeschate (66).
Broom’s 56-ball effort, inclusive of nine boundaries and eight sixes, helped Otago post the highest ever total in CLT20 (242-4), and, consequently, a comprehensive 62-run win.
It was a high voltage innings, befitting a player from a side named Volts.
Image: Neil Broom
De Villiers's 77 against Chennai was impressive
AB de Villiers
It may have come in a losing cause, but AB de Villiers’s 77 against Chennai Super Kings in Ranchi was impressive.
The Titans’ batsman faced just 36 balls in a knock that contained three fours and seven huge sixes. The South African captain’s effort took his side to an impressive 185 for five.
It took the combined effort of Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina (47 apiece) - their partnership of 89, coming off just 44 balls, to ensure CSK overcame that total.
Image: AB de Villiers
Perera's 32-ball 57 not out was impressive
As a bowler, Thisara Perera may have been at the receiving end on more occasions than one; but as a batsman he has done his bit.
The most impressive of his efforts with the bat came in Sunrisers’ match against Trinidad and Tobago.
Darren Bravo’s 44-ball 66 had helped Trinidad put on board a formidable total (160 for eight). Perera’s effort saw Sunrisers go past it, with just three balls to spare.
The Sri Lankan scored a 32-ball 57 not out, which included four boundaries and an equal number of sixes.
Image: Thisara Perera
Hodge is arguably the best T20 batsman around
He’s arguably the best T20 batsman around, definitely the most-wanted.
In Rajasthan Royals’ match against Highveld Lions in Jaipur, Brad Hodge reiterated why is so highly rated in this form of the game.
The Australian’s 23-ball 46 was littered with six boundaries and a couple of sixes. The knock helped hoist Rajasthan total to a formidable 183 for five.
During the course of his innings Hodge took on a till-then-effective Sohail Tanvir, in the latter’s final over, smashing the bowler for 21 runs.
Lions never really recovered from that blitzkrieg.
Hodge's unbeaten 52 against Otago Volts was an equally sensational effort.
Image: Brad Hodge
Davids made an impression in each of the four innings
The Titans’ skipper is one of the tournament’s revelations.
Henry Davids made an impression in each of the four innings he featured in thus far.
The 33-year-old’s most impressive effort came in the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Ranchi.
Chasing 146 to win, on a difficult wicket, Titans needed a solid start. And that is precisely what their openers - Davids and Jacques Rudolph (49 not out) - provided them, adding 112 runs (off just 12 overs).
Davids was the aggressor-in-chief in that partnership, his 42-ball 64 consisting of seven hits to the fence and four over it.
By the time he was dismissed, Titans had almost reached home.
Having performed admirably with the ball (one for 18) that day, Davids was named the player of the match.
Image: Henry Davids
De Kock's 109 not out against Otago was a class act
Quinton de Kock
A spectacular innings that came about in a lost cause, Quinton de Kock’s 109 not out against Otago in Jaipur was a third of the Lions’ total (167 for four).
The stumper’s 63-ball knock included 10 boundaries and half that number of sixes.
His 76-run fourth-wicket partnership with Jean Symes (20) powered the Lions to a formidable total.
While the match per se ended in a tie, Otago won the one-over eliminator.
The result was a shame. De Kock’s efforts definitely deserved a better ending.
Image: Quinton de Kock
Rohit's blitzkrieg helped Mumbai seal a last four berth
Mumbai Indians started their innings in their final group match facing a tall order. They needed to chase down Perth Scorchers' total in 14.2 overs to pip Otago Volts for a semi-final berth.
The fact that the Australian side made a competitive total (149) at Ferozshah Kotla made things difficult, as also the fact that the home team lost a couple of early wickets. However, Dwayne Smith's whirlwind 48 kept them in the match.
And when the West Indies batsman fell to a spectacular catch in the deep his captain took over.
Rohit Sharma's unbeaten 51 was a masterclass.
The Mumbai captain's 24-ball knock was inclusive of three boundaries and four huge sixes. Besides, his 65-run stand (off just 37 balls) for the fourth wicket with Kieron Pollard (23) ensured Mumbai achieved their objective in just 13.2 overs.
Rohit was named the man-of-the-match for his splendid effort.
Image: Rohit Sharma