On the face of it, this was another chase in recent times that went awry for MS Dhoni. He didn’t know want to except from the Axar Patel and Hardik Pandya-led lower-order but he had nudged and prodded his way to reach 26 off 37. India needed to score just under a run a ball from the 33rd over on to get over the line and they had Dhoni plus four to get it done. Kedar Jadhav had just been felled by Matt Henry after a breezy innings of 41 in a 66-run stand – the only stand that bettered the unlikely ninth wicket association between Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav.
Kane Williamson returned to his two left-arm spinners, Mitchell Santner and Anton Devcich, who’d been negotiated without too much fuss by the Jadhav-Dhoni combine. And thus began another round of the choke act that culminated with Dhoni’s dismissal in the 40th over. In this period, the Indian captain had accumulated 13 runs off 28 balls, with the partnership yielding just 33 runs from nearly nine overs of play. The asking rate even touched seven, something that eventually pushed a valiant Pandya into taking one risk too many.