The 2019 Indian Premier League finalists – Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians – both clinched victories on Sunday, beating Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.
Chennai made a poor start to this year’s tournament – winning just one of their first four matches – but thumped Kings XI by ten wickets today.
Kings XI Punjab posted 178-4 in Dubai – with captain KL Rahul continuing his superb form with 63 – but Chennai openers Faf du Plessis (87*) and Shane Watson (83*) knocked off the runs with 14 balls to spare.
Former India captain Dhoni said: ‘I think we did the small things well and that’s important to us.
‘That’s the kind of start you want when you’re batting. Hopefully those two can replicate that in the coming games.
‘Watto was hitting it well in the nets so it was only a matter of time before he delivered for us.
‘Faf is our anchor. They both backed themselves with the shots they’re known for.’
Kings XI Punjab have now won just one of their five matches and are bottom of the IPL table.
Their captain, the India batsman Rahul, said: ‘Look, it’s hard being on the losing side for so many games, we’ve just got to keep trying harder.
‘It’s not rocket science, we know where we’re going wrong. The execution has been poor.
‘We are all professional players so we know where it’s going wrong. We need to keep our chins up and train even harder. Hopefully we’ll bounce back.’
Defending champions Mumbai Indians, meanwhile, defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 34 runs thanks to Quinton de Kock’s brilliant fifty and a superb bowling display.
South Africa star De Kock smashed 67 from 39 balls – including eight boundaries – as Mumbai posted 208-5 in Sharjah.
New Zealand’s Trent Boult, Australia’s James Pattison and India’s Jasprit Bumrah then shared six wickets as Mumbai climbed to the top of the table.
Mumbai and India batsman Rohit said: ‘The wicket looked good but it was slightly on the slower side so it was a brilliant effort from the boys to put those runs on the board.’
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Australian captain David Warner, meanwhile, added: ‘Their two experienced bowlers bowled well in the middle overs.
‘Obviously, with 200 on the board, we tried to go at 10-an-over, but we couldn’t get a partnership going.
‘There’s a lot of things we can work on in training. I counted probably seven or eight full tosses towards the back end so we didn’t nail it.’
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