It is good to win close games - Dhoni
Dhoni relieved after 'important' win
Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni was pleased that his team-mates could keep their cool when it mattered most, as the hosts edged past Delhi Daredevils by one run at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Super Kings had 19 to defend off the last over, bowled by Dwayne Bravo, and despite three meaty blows from Albie Morkel, including a four off the last ball, they held on to open their campaign with victory.
"You have to hold on to your nerves," Dhoni said after the game. "I thought the last one was in the slot, and Bravo won't be happy with the ball he bowled, but it is good to win close games. It was important to win because this was our first match here in a long time. Not just for us, but for the crowd, because they appreciate opposition too. A crowd you want to do well in front of."
Super Kings, having been inserted, were restricted by spin to 150 for 7, but made a great start to their defence as Ashish Nehra ran through Daredevils' top order to leave them rattling at 39 for 3. Dhoni had high praise for the seamer, who he believed bowled "effortlessly".
"Nehra is good, at times he is prone to injuries, but he backs himself, which is good for a fast bowler," Dhoni said. "It is good to see him the way he bowls. He has kept himself fit. He is one Indian pace who bowls pace effortlessly."
Nehra, who collected 3 for 25 and was adjudged the Man of the Match, said that despite posting only a middling total, Super Kings always backed themselves to claw their way back into the game.
"These totals of 140-160 are always tricky to chase," Nehra told iplt20.com. "These are the games that get close in the end about 70-80% of times. If you bowl well, you can really take it till the end. We did that today and kept our nerves in the end.
"I have been someone who always looks to attack. When you're defending a total of 150, you have to pick wickets upfront and that's what we looked to do today. We kept it tight and got wickets."
Coulter-Nile upbeat despite close defeat
Daredevils seamer Nathan Coulter-Nile believes his team can take a lot of heart from their one-run loss to Super Kings. Daredevils, who finished bottom of the table in the last two editions of the IPL, came into the game with a completely revamped squad, but Coulter-Nile felt the team has much better depth this time to cope with the hectic two-month schedule.
"If you don't win games, they will either put you out of the team or they will change the team," Coulter-Nile told iplt20.com. "Last year we won only two games and things had to change. That's what has happened. I believe we have a really good bunch of people around now and we have more depth than we did last year. I hope we see people filling the gaps and take us over the rope."
Coulter-Nile picked up 3 for 30, including the crucial scalps of Brendon McCullum and Suresh Raina early in the innings, as Daredevils kept Super Kings to 150, a total Coulter-Nile felt his team shouldn't have had trouble chasing down.
"We were pretty happy as 140-150 is always chaseable. I thought this was a beautiful wicket for cricket. Given that they were 59 after the first six overs, 150 was a pretty decent score for us to restrict them to.
"It was one hell of a game of cricket and that's what everyone wants to see. You don't take too much heart out of a lost game. We want to win every match, so it's a bit disappointing."