Chennai Super Kings returned to their backyard and won their first match on return when they beat Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. The effort left the CSK captain MS Dhoni extremely happy. CSK made a rather emotional return to the MA Chidambaram Stadium after two years sweeter as they chased down a target of 202 in style thanks to the knock by Sam Billings.
“It feels good, to come back after two years and win,” Dhoni said as a sea of yellow-clad supporters cheered on the team. The last time CSK played here was in May, 2015.
Dhoni was his usual self as he guided the team’s chase alongside Billings who scored a strokeful half-century in response to the big hits of KKR’s West Indian Andre Russell. The West Indian hammered a 36-ball 88 to propel his team beyond the 200 run mark.
CSK hit a total of 14 sixes in the match, but could not match up to the 17 by KKR, of which 11 alone was hit by Russell. The hosts though did match the powerful hitting in a sense as some of the sixers sailed deep into the crowds while some went out of the ground. This was something that caught the attention of MS Dhoni who spoke about it post the game.
“There were a lot of sixes. I think IPL should add two runs every time the ball goes out of the stadium,” Dhoni joked at the post-match presentation.
For the Chennai Super Kings, the biggest challenge before the game was to keep their emotions in control as fans thronged the training ground in a show of support.
“The crowd deserved the first innings, the second innings,” he said. “Everybody has his own emotion levels, but in the dugout we like to keep faith in our batsmen or bowler in a particular time. Positive energy helps.”
He added: “My pulse rises too, and that’s why we have a dressing room. You can’t express yourself much in the dugout; I express myself in the dressing room. If you’re too expressive in the field, then commentators get a lot of things to talk about.”
The Mumbai Indians have won the IPL thrice, but CSK have been among the most consistent teams. They have won the competition twice in 2010 and 2011, but were losing finalists four times.