Dubai: Chennai Super Kings returned to the second phase of IPL 2021 with a 20-run win over defending champions Mumbai Indians here on Sunday and the winning team’s skipper MS Dhoni was all praise of the match heroes Ruturaj Gaikwad and Dwayne Bravo.
While the 24-year-old opener chipped in with a 88* knock in the first innings after a top-order collapse induced by MI pacers, his West Indian teammate picked three wickets after scoring an 8-ball 25 at the death while setting a target of 157.
“I think at 30/4, you want to get something respectable on the board and Ruturaj and Bravo got us more than what we expected. We had to bat exceptionally to get to 140, but to get to 160 was tremendous,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Speaking on the pitch that turned out to be on the slower side -- making the conditions non-conducive for heavy-hitting -- Dhoni found the pitch to be two-paced and the batsmen paid the price for trying too hard while reflecting on the top-order collapse.
“The wicket was slightly two-paced and slow to start off with. Most of them got out to the slowness. If you come later and you want to go hard and that's why we lost wickets,” he said.
The match also saw Ambati Rayudu retired hurt after being hit on the right elbow by a bouncer. Giving an update on his injury, Dhoni confirmed that Rayudu hasn’t fractured his arm.
“Rayudu was smiling, so he hasn't broken his arm. He has four days now and that should help him,” he said.
Losing skipper Kieron Pollard, who stood in for Rohit Sharma on the day, also praised Ruturaj for staying in the middle till the end.
“Ruturaj batted really well. In T20 cricket, if one person bats through he can hurt you. We didn't finish off well with the ball. Losing by 20 runs you know those were the extra runs we conceded,” Pollard said.
The burly West Indian had no complaints regarding the surface and felt the total was still attainable despite the fightback from CSK while adding that losing three wickets in the powerplay did the real damage.
“Surface was good, new ball had movement, our seamers got early wickets. But we wanted to continue that momentum all the way. Even though they got 150+, as a batting team we could've gotten that. Losing three wickets was a cardinal sin for us. Given the circumstances, Saurabh batted really well,” he concluded. (UNI)