Bangalore: Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming lauded Michael Hussey and S Badrinath for laying a solid platform for their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to launch an attack in death overs that turned the match in their favour against Mumbai Indians in the IPL Eliminator on Wednesday.
The 94-run third-wicket stand between S Badrinath (47) and Michael Hussey (49) not only helped Chennai recover after they were precariously placed at 1 for 2 in 1.2 overs, but also enabled Dhoni (51 off 20) and Dwayne Bravo (33 off 14) to take the team to a challenging 187 for five against Mumbai Indians. "They [Badrinath and Hussey] consolidated the innings after we had lost two early wickets in two overs," said Fleming.
"Then Dhoni's blitzkrieg propelled us to get 75 runs in last five overs, otherwise we would have ended up with 160-odd runs, which Mumbai Indians would have chased easily," the coach said. Chasing the stiff target, Mumbai could muster only 149 for nine in their stipulated 20 overs, losing by 38 runs.
Fleming said Chennai had expected a cracker of a match, but were immensely satisfied to register an emphatic win against a tough Mumbai Indians side. "We hadn't played as good as we could have. A bit of composure at the start of the innings and flair towards the end encouraged us going into the next qualifying match against Delhi Daredevils at home," he said.
Fleming admitted that going back to Chennai and playing against Delhi Daredevils in home conditions suited their style of play, but added that the team will have to repeat Wednesday's performance in the qualifier to make it to the final. "Repeating the same performance is not all that easy. We will work hard on that in next 24 hours," he said.