Dhoni praises bowlers after third straight win

NEW DELHI (TIP): Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni credited his bowlers for the team’s seven-wicket win against defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday night. Man-of-the-Match Mohit Sharma returned with figures of 4 for 13, including three wickets in the 19th over, as CSK took five wickets in the last five overs at the expense of just 33 runs, restricting MI to a modest 141 for 7.

“Our death bowling was superb. In the middle overs they had a partnership going which meant we were under a bit of pressure because they [MI] had wickets in hand and the bowlers had to step up and finish off well and restrict them. Credit goes to the bowlers for doing that,” Dhoni said in the post-match presentation. “Last game we played here, we realised slower one works really well, if we hit the right areas. I think Mohit bowled slower ones really well and mixing them up with good yorkers was very crucial. Overall the plan went perfect and bowlers executed it well,” he added. Dhoni also praised CSK openers Brendon McCullum (71*) and Dwayne Smith (29) who added a quick-fire 57 to set up the win.

“The best thing so far is the openers have not competed with each other, they have complemented each other very well, and that is very crucial. You don’t need to fire from all cylinders, but what is important is to score at a brisk pace and have a partnership going without losing wickets,” he said. MI captain Rohit Sharma, who scored a fifty in the match, blamed the team’s batsmen for the defeat, their third in a row. “I think we were 10-15 runs short, bowlers tried really hard but 140 was never really enough.

It was good batting track and it [ball] was coming on nice, there was not much turn for the bowlers,” he said. The batting has to improve. In the last few games we have not scored over 140, so there is definitely some work to do there for us.” Meanwhile, Mohit said Dhoni’s advice helped him a great deal. “He [Dhoni] told me not to bowl at one pace on this wicket, mix your pace and employ slower ones. It was not easy to hit when I cut down on pace. We bowled well as a unit in the death overs, but 140 in this pitch was still a good score. McCullum and Smith played really well to chase down the target.”

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