It was the 46th over of the fourth One-Day International between West Indies and India in Antigua. Kesrick Williams was the bowler and MS Dhoni took a single off the first ball of the over to bring up his 50. It came off 108 balls, making it the slowest 50 of his career. India had surprisingly faltered while chasing down a meager target of 189 set by the opposition but Dhoni’s presence was one that brought a sense of calm to the proceedings.
It is the slowest half-century scored by any Indian in ODIs in 16 years. On a pitch that was described by Virat Kohli as two paced, Dhoni was unable to find the gaps or time his shots well enough. As wickets fell around him and the run-rate kept creeping higher, it looked increasingly as if the match needed a typical MS Dhoni finish.
It was partly due to the low target and the presence of Dhoni that India didn’t look like they would go on to lose the match. It came to a point when India needed 14 runs off the last seven balls with the former captain facing the last delivery of the 48th over. Kuldeep Yadav, batting for the very first time in ODI cricket, was at the other end which. Instead of going for the single and pinning himself to tame the last-over heat, Dhoni went for the big one. He couldn’t get enough distance on it and went straight down the throat of Alzarri Joseph at long-on. The West Indies fans who came to the stadium possibly after hearing news if their team actually winning, cheered as if the match was over right there. It didn’t take long for that to happen though as India were all out for 178 in 49.4 overs, 11 runs short of the target.