MS Dhoni has shown that his finishing prowess has not diminished. The Australian cricket team found it out in a very hard way when the former Indian cricket captain blasted three consecutive fifties and helped India over the line in tense finishes in Adelaide and Melbourne. The result was India winning a bilateral ODI series Down Under for the first time ever. Dhoni won the Man of the Series Award for the first time since 2011. However, in the Big Bash League, there was another player who was at one time acknowledged as the â€˜ultimate finisherâ€™ of the team but has drifted out since. In the Big Bash League contest between Hobart Hurricanes and Perth Scorchers at the Optus stadium, James Faulkner did an MS Dhoni in dramatic style with a thrilling last-over finish.
Faulkner, who was the Man of the Match in the 2015 World Cup final against New Zealand which gave Australia their fifth World Cup title, got off to a great start by getting Cameron Bancroft (0) and Michael Klinger (0) in the very first over of the match. In his second over, things got better for him as he dismissed Ashton Turner (2) but towards the end, Sam Whitemanâ€™s 68 and some big hits from Nathan Coulter-Nile helped Perth Scorchers reach 177/9. Coulter-Nile blasted three sixes in the last over bowled by Faulkner as the left-arm pacer conceded 21 runs to finish with 3/36 off four overs.
James Faulkner might not cop quite as much stick when he's in the nets anymore... pic.twitter.com/YJhjr0G08vâ€” cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 18, 2019
In response, Hobart Hurricanes were boosted by an aggressive knock of 69 off 39 balls from George Bailey but once he fell in the 18th over, the Hurricanes needed 16 off the last over. Andrew Tye, a superb death overs bowler, was entrusted the task of ensuring Perth Scorchers would defend the total. However, Faulkner whipped the first ball over long leg for a six and followed it up by whacking a full ball on the pads to the wide long on fence. With 6 needed off 4 balls, the pressure was on Tye and the bowler bowled a full ball outside off which Faulkner creamed high over long off for his second six and give Hobart Hurricanes a dramatic win.
This is not the first time Faulkner has finished games off in style. During the Brisbane ODI against England in 2014, Faulkner blasted 69* and shared a partnership of 57 for the final wicket with Clint McKay as Australia sealed an unbelievable win. The right-hander ended the match in style with three boundaries in the final over bowled by Tim Bresnan as Australia chased down a target of 301.
James Faulkner is the @dream11 #BBL08 Fantasy MVP of the Night. We don't need to tell you why... Sign up now and play daily, with awesome prizes up for grabs HERE! https://t.co/yGupSeiMWc pic.twitter.com/xdQi9ZYLgeâ€” KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 18, 2019
Dhoni has finished plenty of games in style for India. In 2012 and 2019, he helped India beat Australia in Adelaide by hitting a six in the last over. In 2013, Dhoni blasted 15 runs in the tri-series final against Sri Lanka in Port of Spain while in the IPL, he blasted two sixes in the last two balls for Rising Pune Supergiant to help them beat Kings XI Punjab.