Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday lavished praise on retired Australian Matthew Hayden and Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan for their efforts in the 92-run win over Bangalore Royal Challengers here.
Hayden cracked a 35-ball 65 to set a huge 180-run target for Bangalore and then Muralitharan took three for 11 to crush Kevin Pietersen-led side to help CSK bounce back from opening match defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians.
“That was the kind of start we wanted. (Matthew) Hayden and Parthiv (Patel) set the foundation of the innings. When you have that kind of innings at the top then it becomes easier for the middle order to post or chase a big total,” he said after the match.
“After I saw Murali bowl the first ball I knew that he will turn the ball and get wickets. He has lots of deliveries in his arsenal and when the wicket was responding he would be the guy to get wickets for us. It is great to have him in the team,” Dhoni said of Muralitharan.
The Chennai skipper said he was happy with the batting of his side but there were areas to improve upon in the bowling and fielding departments.
“I am happy with our batting. Bowling is also doing well but we can improve on that. Fielding also is something we have to improve,” he added.
Losing captain Kevin Pietersen said 180 was too much of an ask after the start in the run chase but hoped to make amends in the third match.
“Our plans did not work in run chase and after that 180 was too much an ask. But it happens in Twenty20. We played well in the first match and hope we do well in the next match,” he said.
Praising Hayden for his blistering innings of 35-ball 65, Pietersen said, “When a genius batted like that you cannot do much. His innings set up the match for them.”
Man-of-the-match Muralitharan was happy to be among wickets but said Hayden deserved the award instead of him.
“I thought the wicket would be turning and it turned out like that. I am happy with my performance. But Haydo deserved the award, his 65 set up the huge total to put pressure on Bangalore,” he said.
“If the wickets in South Africa are turning I am happy,” he added.