Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming on Monday (April 26) said the best time for MS Dhoni to come out to bat is from 15 overs onwards. Although CSK have only managed to win two out of their 8 matches so far in IPL 2022, former CSK captain Dhoni has managed to score 132 in 8 matches, in spite of coming lower down the order at an average of 44 with one unbeaten fifty in the opening match.
Shikhar Dhawan’s unbeaten 88 helped Punjab Kings beat Chennai Super Kings by 11 runs at the Wankhede Stadium here. Ambati Rayudu’s 39-ball 78-run knock went in vain as CSK lost their sixth match of the season with Dhoni getting out for 12.
“We lost a wicket in the 13th over, pretty close to when we have seen MS Dhoni come in the last 13 years. We had this discussion a lot, MS’s best time is from about 15 overs onwards and Jadeja has played some good innings for us from the stage, and we don`t throw that out based on 1-2 games,” said Fleming during a post-match press conference.
About the match, Fleming said that when a match is as high scoring as one played on Monday, there are always a couple of twists and turns where the team could have performed better. “For the majority of the innings, we were in control. But they (PBKS) finished really well,” added the CSK head coach.
About Rayudu’s hand injury, Fleming said that the first check was done around the break and the player’s hand was bruising. “It was just a case of icing that and getting that down and I think a little padding around the glove. It was the same hand that was broken sometime back, so it is still pretty tender and a knock like that can obviously cause some damage. But fortunately for us, it settled down he batted well,” he added.
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Fleming said that all-rounder Moeen Ali, who injured his ankle, is in his recovery period. “X-Rays revealed there was no fracture, which is good. We are hopeful that the recovery will be quick, given that there is no fracture,” added the coach.
Coming to the match, Punjab Kings lost captain Mayank Agarwal early during the powerplay. But a 110-run stand between Shikhar Dhawan (88) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (42) and some hard-hitting strokes of Liam Livingstone (19), PBKS reached 187/4 at the end of their 20 overs.
Chasing 188, CSK kept losing wickets at regular intervals, though Ruturaj Gaikwad (30) and Ambati Rayadu ensured that the team crossed the 50-run mark in 7.5 overs. Later, Rayadu (78) continued his assault on the Punjab bowling line-up, putting a 64-run stand with captain Ravindra Jadeja (21).
The equation came down to 27 in the last over, MS Dhoni attempted to take his team over the line, but was caught by Jonny Bairstow while attempting to hit it over the ropes. Punjab Kings won the match by 11 runs and Shikhar Dhawan was given the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his 88 not out off 59 which included nine fours and two sixes.
(with ANI inputs)