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Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni seemed to be a relieved man after having earned two precious points that they desperately needed to keep their hopes alive by overcoming southern rivals Hyderabad by 20 runs in the Dream11 IPL 2020 league match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai on Monday.
The three-time winners posted 167/6 in their 20 overs after winning the toss and electing to bat first riding on some stellar batting performances from veterans Ambati Rayudu (41) and Shane Watson (42).
In reply, the Orange Army were reduced to 99/4 on a wicket that was on the slower side. However, Kane Williamson played a sheet anchor's role to near perfection by scoring a blistering 39-ball 57 and once he was dismissed, the lower order failed to make much of an impact and the 2016 champions were eventually restricted to 147/8.
"Ultimately what really matters is you getting two points. What T20s have shown is that there are a few games that don't go your way and then there are some that go your way even when you haven't earned it. Today I felt we did a very good job even in the batting. There was some purpose with the bat and the batsmen assessed the situation very well. With a total like 160, it all depends on the start you get in the first six overs. The fast bowlers did the job, the spinners came into play and it was one game that was as close to being perfect. It was a par score and I usually assess scores after the first six overs. If there are misfields in the first six overs then a par score becomes an under-par score. A lot depended on the fast bowlers. I just told them to be expressive on the field and hit their areas", said Dhoni during the post-match interview.
His opposite number David Warner said that they needed an extra bowler since the wicket was on the slower side during the second innings.
"The wicket was on the slower side, I think we needed an extra batter. We tried to take it deep. You got one big boundary, so it's not easy. We have to go back to the drawing board and work on a few areas. I thought 160 was the right total to go after, but anything above that was always going to be difficult. Having 6-7 bowlers in the team helps. It's difficult to play against bowlers who can swing the ball. There's always a challenge in the powerplay, but you have to take on the bowlers. We need to monitor the wickets in the upcoming games and select the team accordingly. I think with our team and the depth that we have, we're always going to be one short either way. Things are always congested in the middle. You got to beat the best teams, to make it to the top. We'll be facing the top teams in the next few days, so I'm up for the challenge and so are the other guys", he said.
Ravindra Jadeja who was adjudged the Man of the Match for his excellent all-round performance said that he is very happy to contribute with both bat and ball.
"Very happy to contribute with both bat and ball. I was backing myself and I was only looking to see the ball and hit the ball without pre-planning. The wicket looks on the slower side so I was just looking to bowl into the stumps rather than give them room. It is a difficult wicket for batsmen. I take great pleasure in my fielding, and whenever I field, I always look for a good run-out or a catch for the team", said Jaddu.
(Image Courtesy: @IPL)
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