Hyderabad: Chennai Super Kings, who suffered three losses after their victory in the opening match against Mumbai Indians, returned to winning ways defeating Kings XI Punjab by massive 10 wickets on Sunday.
Shane Watson scored an unbeaten 83 off 53 and along with Faf du Plessis (87 not out) guided CSK to their second victory chasing 179 runs for victory. CSK coach Stephen Fleming, who always batted for giving long rope to players, said that he knew Shane Watson would deliver when it mattered. Speaking after the match, Fleming said, “I think it helps as players know they get more opportunities…We are not a team that changes team a lot other than realising the areas that we are not happy with. Also you are not sure if that change will help or not. We try and improve and if players are doing the right thing we will back them as long and even longer than possible.”
When asked about Watson hitting the form, he added, “He didn’t do anything different. That’s the strength of an experienced player. If Shane had been struggling in the nets, then it would have been a concern but he was solid. It was a matter of time, a little bit of fortune and some good positive thoughts from him. Shane, if he gets on a roll, will be very important to us.”
Meanwhile, Mandeep Singh, who got to play his first match of the season for KXIP, looked in good touch with a 16-ball 27 but failed to carry on. “I was trying to spend a bit of time initially. KL Rahul also told me to take time and play my shots. I am a bit disappointed to get out because I was striking the ball well. Maybe that was the difference in the end. Had anyone of us Rahul, me or Pooran stayed till 20 overs and that would have helped us to score over 200 runs.”
He also conceded the road ahead of them is tough after losing four of five games. “It is going to be tough. We need to win at least seven out of the remaining nine games. But we want to keep the fighting spirit going. That’s what Punjabis are known for. We need to play one game at a time.”
He also felt that their bowling was the weak link in the side. “Our main issue is bowling. We have been struggling with death bowling. Our strength has been taking wickets up front. But today we didn’t get any wickets. That’s where the game slipped away from us. They (Watson and du Plessi) were fantastic,” he concluded.