IPL 11

‘It feels good to come back after two years and win’: Dhoni after CSK’s homecoming victory

Chennai Super Kings, thanks to Sam Billings’ 23-ball 56, chased down Kolkata Knight Riders’ 202-run target.

Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said it felt good to come back after two years and win at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, after beating Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL last night.

“It feels good, to come back after two years and win. The crowd deserved the first innings, the second innings. Everybody has their own emotion levels, but in the dugout, we like to keep faith in our batsmen or bowler in a particular time,” he said.

“Positive energy helps. My pulse rises too - and that’s why we have a dressing room. I express myself in the dressing room but not in the dugout,” he added, at the presentation ceremony after CSK posted a five-wicket in over KKR in its first game at home on return to IPL.

Dhoni said bowlers from both sides had a rough time but the crowd must have enjoyed.

“If you’re too expressive in the field, then commentators get a lot of things to talk about. It’s good to see Sam bat the way he batted. Yes, we did go for runs, and Kolkata did bat well,” he said.

“Bowlers from both sides had a rough time, but I’m sure the crowd enjoyed,” he added.

Karthik: ‘Frustrating not to defend 202’

KKR captain Dinesh Karthik said it was frustrating not to defend 202 and praised Andre Russell who made a blistering 88.

“Look, CSK had great support and we were expecting that. Hats off to them. Frustrating not to defend 202, but well done to Andre,” he said.

“These things happen in T20 cricket, so you’ve got to keep your chin up and move on. Basically, you need to know that you’ll lose some games, so it’s important to take the positives and not repeat our mistakes,” he added.

On his part, Sam Billings, whose superb knock of 56 helped CSK post a nail-biting win, said, “It was a pleasure to play in a team of legends - with Raina, Dhoni and Harbhajan.”

“Mike Hussey’s batting coach as well, so need to learn as much as I can from these guys. We keep options in our head, but you have to keep three different plans in place,” he added.

“We showed in the first game (Bravo’s blitz), that if you take the game deep, then it’s never really lost. Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja in the middle-order are big hitters. We knew no target is out of reach with this batting team,” Billings said.

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