MS Dhoni’s Stellar Fielding Milestone Headlines IPL Match Despite Batting Misfire

In the high-voltage arena of the Indian Premier League (IPL), even on days when bats don’t talk, legends can chart history with their prowess in other departments of the game. A case in point is the former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain and wicketkeeping colossus, MS Dhoni, who yet again etched his name in the record books on one such occasion at the picturesque stadium in Dharamsala.

CSK’s match against the Punjab Kings on May 5 turned into a momentous occasion for Dhoni, not because of an explosive innings, which cricket spectators have come to expect from the seasoned pro, but through his skill on the field. Despite his unusual outing with the bat where he was dismissed for a golden duck, he set a new benchmark in fielding within the IPL. He struck a remarkable feat by becoming the only player to have taken 150 catches in the tournament’s history.

This record milestone was reached when Jitesh Sharma of the Punjab Kings skied a delivery from CSK’s Simarjeet Singh, only for it to safely nestle into Dhoni’s reliable gloves. Notably, 146 of these catches have come from his role as a wicketkeeper, with an additional four as a fielder. Dhoni’s achievement underscored his tremendous contribution to the league and his team, known for his sharp reflexes and strategic acumen behind the stumps.

Ranking below Dhoni in this elite list of fielders is Dinesh Karthik who has secured 144 catches, with 136 catches as a wicketkeeper and 8 as a fielder across various teams he’s been part of– including Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Delhi Daredevils (DD), Gujarat Lions (GL), Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings), Mumbai Indians (MI), and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Following on third is the dynamic AB de Villiers, known as much for his acrobatic fielding as for his explosive batting. De Villiers has claimed a total of 118 catches, 90 of which were taken in the field and 28 as a wicketkeeper during his IPL career with RCB and DD.

The list continues with RCB’s mainstay Virat Kohli, who has taken 113 catches, and Suresh Raina, formerly of CSK and GL, with 109 catches.

On the day of Dhoni’s historic achievement, the match itself was a testament to CSK’s well-rounded performance, led by all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who stole the show both with the bat and ball. Jadeja’s whirlwind 26-ball 43 lifted CSK to a defendable score of 167. Later, with the ball, he rattled Punjab’s batting lineup, bagging three key wickets to further strengthen CSK’s grip on the match. Additional contributions came from the arms of Tushar Deshpande, Mitchell Santner, and Simarjeet Singh, who all played part in a collective bowling effort that saw CSK defend their total successfully.

Even in a match where his bat didn’t roar, Dhoni’s performance on the field reminded everyone why he continues to be a vital cog for the CSK squad. His efforts, along with the Jadeja-led bowling attack, culminated in a significant win over the Punjab Kings, adding to the illustrious narrative of one of cricket’s most adored and respected figures—MS Dhoni.

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