Chennai Super Kings suffered their first defeat of the tournament at the hands of Kings XI Punjab after they failed to chase down 198 in the stipulated quota of 20 overs. Riding high on Chris Gayle’s 67 of 33 balls, KXIP posted a challenging total before the bowlers restricted the opposition to 193. Identifying the turning points of the game, Super Kings’ skipper MS Dhoni said that it was Gayle’s knock in the first innings and a tight spell of bowling by teenager Mujeeb Ur Rahman which made the difference. Battling a lower back strain, Dhoni (79 from 44 balls) led the chase from the front and but failed to carry his team over the finishing line as they fell short of the target by 4 runs.
Complementing the opposition, Dhoni said, “They bowled very well, Mujeeb made a difference. I don’t think there was much dew on the ground. They played better than us. We can improve in few areas. Chris’ innings in the first innings and Mujeeb’s bowling made a difference. It was a close game. We will be a safe fielding team and not be an exceptional one. We have to be smart while bowling. We want to keep hitting boundaries here and there and that can make a difference. All the games we have been part of were close, so individuals would have learnt from that.”
When asked as to why Dwayne Bravo was not promoted up the order, the 37-year-old said,”Fleming is in the dugout so he needs to take the decision. We have confidence in Jadeja because he being a left-hander is not easy for the bowlers. This is the time we need to give him the opportunity. If Jadeja can do the job of the floater that would be really good for the team as we have Raina at the top of the order. I will back him as we have not given him many opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Chris Gayle, who was awarded the man of the match, expressed satisfaction over his knock and said, “I got a text this morning that I would be playing. I am very happy that I have got off to a winning startfor this new franchise. That’s Chris Gayle for you – hitting just fours and sixes and not worrying about ones and twos. Rahul took pressure off me at times as well. I am feeling like 25, the Universe Boss is back.”