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Jharkhand batsman Saurabh Tiway 'booed' as century averts MS Dhoni from batting display

After a stunning athletic display on the field, the fans were yearning for Dhoni's helicopter shot, but it wasn't to be.

MS Dhoni with the Jharkhand squad 

What’s the story?

Fans who made the long trip to Kalyani in central West Bengal to watch a MS Dhoni led Jharkhand side take on Services in the second round of the Vijay Hazare Trophy were left disappointed. Despite Jharkhand’s convincing seven wicket victory, the 3,000 strong crowd couldn’t catch a glimpse of Mahi in action as middle order batsmen Ishank Jaggi and Saurabh Tiwary made quick work of a substantial 277 run target. The duo successfully completed their List A centuries, putting together a 214-run unbeaten, reaching the target with three and a half overs to spare. However, the controversial incident occurred, mid-way through the second innings, when a section of the crowd started yelling, “Saurabh Tiwary Hai Hai,” as his run a ball 100 prevented MS Dhoni from taking strike. 

Saurabh told Sportskeeda,”These things are part and parcel of the game, I mean it happens in every sport, it’s not something we need to harp upon. As athletes we need use these situations as motivation to do better. I didn’t treat it like anything different.” But, the 27-year old’s reaction post reaching his century said otherwise. He raised both his hands directed towards the chanting crowd and with an upward indication asked the to shout more. 

He added, “Let’s be honest Mahi bhai has never played here, so they really want to watch their hero in action. My gesture was in good fun. I just wanted them to shout louder.” However, Dhoni did make a late entry to the field, during the customary victory handshake with the opponents. That left the crowd wanting for more. A spectator Ravi Mondal said, “I have come all the way from Kolkata to watch the match, so the goal was to watch Dhoni. What to do, it was an entertaining match though.” 

In case you didn’t know...

The Bengal Cricket Academy ground did witness a Dhoni spectacle on the field though. A caught behind of batsman AA Salvi, and two agile runouts left the spectators in awe and anticipation of his performance with the bat. Despite a strong fielding performance, Jharkhand started their chase in unceremonious fashion, losing three wickets in 17 over. The arrival of Ishank Jaggi stabilised proceedings. 

Both Tiwary and Jaggi were dropped at 31 and 25 respectively, adding to the agony of fans who were yearning for the helecopter shot from Dhoni. 

On the other hand, Services failed to capitalise on a strong 104 opening stand, losing wickets in quick intervals. Shamsher Yadav top scored for the Services with a 93 ball 54. Left arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem continued his good form picking up three wickets for Jharkhand. 

The heart of the matter 

Despite the bizarre incident, both players stayed cool and got the job done. Jaggi said, “When the boos were coming, Mahi bhai sent a message to continue what we were doing. We were focussing on getting 6 runs per over, via strike rotation or a big hit. We divided the responsibility accordingly. So it didn’t bother us much.” 

Jaggi scored his sixth first class 100, highlighting and justifying his Indian Premier League (IPL) selection. His quote also showed that the incident was taken in good spirit, contrary to Tiwary’s initial reaction. 

Sportskeeda’s Take 

This particular incident shouldn’t be taken in a negative manner as it only highlights the popularity of India’s former World Cup winning skipper. As Dhoni continues to chart unsung first class journies for the first time since his memorable India stint, the number of such incidents will only rise. 

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