Swing made the difference - Dhoni
Following the Chennai Super Kings' 13-run victory over the Bangalore Royal Challengers on Monday, their captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said the bowlers deserved credit for bringing them back into the match. Dhoni said shining the ball made the difference as the seamers sparked Bangalore's collapse after they were cruising to their target of 179.
"We started shining the ball from the 15th over onwards, that was an important factor in our win," Dhoni said after Chennai recorded their fourth-successive victory and retained their position at the top of the table. Bangalore lost their last seven wickets for 38 runs and went down by 13 runs.
Dhoni himself played a big part in the victory, slamming a 30-ball 65 and adding 95 for the fourth wicket with Michael Hussey to propel Chennai to 178. He joined a well-set Hussey in the 12th over and the pair hung on till the final over, helping Chennai add 76 off the last five overs. Dhoni observed that batting got much easier in the slog overs once the swing disappeared.
"We held on to our nerves and it was a close finish," he said. "When we were batting, the ball was swinging till the 15th -16th over. Michael Hussey started to slog and I joined him. That was how we scored a competitive total of 178."
Dhoni was confident his side would maintain the winning momentum despite losing three overseas players - Hussey, Hayden and Jacob Oram - to national duty. He also singled out the contribution of Manpreet Gony, the Punjab seamer, who has impressed with his economical spells.
"We still have Stephen Fleming, Albie Morkel and Makhaya Ntini to deliver the goods for us. The good news is that our bowlers are doing well particularly when our attack is considered very weak among the teams in the IPL.
"He [Gony] knows his limitations, improving by every match. His strength is that he bowls in the right areas and waits for the batsman to take the risk."
Rahul Dravid, the Royal Challengers captain, rued the defeat and his own personal form after making his second successive first-ball duck. "I don't know what form I'm in," Dravid said. "It was sad to get a duck again and in Twenty20 matches you hardly get time to settle down.
"We were in control while chasing. Wasim Jaffer and Ross Taylor batted well and they had set up the game but later we lost too many wickets too quickly."