MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings clinched their third consecutive victory of IPL 2021 as they defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 18 runs at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday. After posting 220 runs on the board, CSK bowled out the Kolkata-based outfit for 202 to climb up to the top of the points table.
Chasing a hefty total, KKR were jolted with initial blows as Deepak Chahar grabbed his second four-fer of the season. However, Andre Russell and Pat Cummins notched up blistering fifties to keep their side in the contest.
While Russell smacked 54 from 22 balls, Cummins hit a 34-ball 66 in a bid to turn things around. Kolkata eventually fell short of the target as they lost their last wicket, Varun Chakravarthy, in the final over, leaving Cummins stranded at the other end.
CSK skipper Dhoni also admitted that it could've been a different outcome if KKR had more wickets in hand. "Quite easy in a game like this. From the 16th over onwards the contest was between the fast bowler and the batsman. You can't do too much.
Can't put a different field. It's about you vs me. The side that has one is a side that has executed slightly better. But if they would've had more wickets, could've been different," said Dhoni.
"Have seen enough in cricket, always like to be humble. There's no good reason if you have scored, the opposition can't score. My lines to the players was that we have got good runs on the board but let's be humble. You don't want to take too many early wickets. Big hitters coming in, 200 runs, there's only one way they'll play. Not much you can do," he further said.
Dhoni also showered praise on Ruturaj Gaikwad, who joined forces with Faf du Plessis to stitch a century stand for the opening wicket. Gaikwad (64) and du Plessis (95) laid the foundation of a big total.
"The batting has been really good. Rutu is somebody who has shown his class in the last IPL. You always need to assess where he is mentally. Once when he was off guard, I just asked him how are you feeling today.
"When you put a question like that, you wait for the reactions, you see what's in his eyes. There was enough in his reactions to suggest he wasn't rattled. That's what I've been doing all my life (applying psychology) but in a good way," concluded Dhoni.