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MS Dhoni blasts first hundred since 2013

India Today logo India Today 19-01-2017

Mahendra Singh Dhoni ended his barren run with a majestic hundred as he struck his 10th ODI century during the second match against England in Cuttack.

Dhoni, who last scored a hundred against Australia in 2013 when he hit 139 not out in Jaipur, started off on a quiet note before he switched gears to entertain the fans.

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Dhoni reached the three-figure mark, which came after 46 innings, off 106 balls, studded with nine fours and three sixes. Dhoni also became the first Indian to hit 200 sixes in ODIs. He hit three more sixes and a four before he was caught in the deep for 134 off 122 balls.

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Dhoni had joined Yuvraj Singh, who blasted his way to his 14th hundred, after India were reduced to 25/3 in 4.4 overs. However, after getting out to a short ball in his previous match, Dhoni stayed calm under immense pressure and gave his fullest support to Yuvraj, who at the other end toyed with the English attack.

Dhoni and Yuvraj then added 256-run stand for the fourth wicket, bettering their 148-run partnership, their 10th century-plus stand.

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It was a special knock by Dhoni, who dreams of playing the 2019 World Cup in England. Dhoni, who is now free from the burden of captaincy after he handed over the reins to Virat Kohli, was promoted to bat at No.5. Though he managed only 6 runs in his first ODI since giving up captaincy, the wicketkeeper-batsman did not throw away his wicket this time and proved his worth in the middle-order yet again with an important innings.

Dhoni will have to perform consistenly to retain his place in the side and Kohli has already expressed his desire to see the 35-year-old express himself and be the Dhoni of his initial days.

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