IPL 2021: Chahar hails Dhoni after match-winning display

IPL 2021: Chahar hails Dhoni after match-winning display

It was the clash of the Kings with the Chennai Super Kings taking on the Punjab Kings and Deepak Chahar gave his captain MS Dhoni the perfect gift on a landmark 200th match for his franchise, by starring in a six-wicket victory on Friday night.

The 28-year-old snapped up four wickets for 13, his best figures in the IPL, to restrict the Punjab Kings to a paltry 106-8, the fourth lowest first innings total at the Wankhede Stadium.

His figures made for some impressive reading: 4-1-13-4, with 18 dots, two boundaries conceded and one wide.

And although Mohammed Shami came close to taking a hat trick at the back end, it was a tad too late as CSK got home with 26 deliveries to spare.

The win vaulted CSK to second behind Royal Challengers Bangalore, on the league table.

Chahar, who won the Man of the Match award for his brilliant spell, said that he enjoyed Punjab Kings opener Mayank Agarwal’s wicket the most. Chahar had the Karnataka batsman castled for nought.

“I think Mayank's wicket I enjoyed the most. A dream ball for a bowler to swing and hit top of off stump. You want to pitch it close to the middle and then move to hit the top of off,” Chahar told the host broadcaster.

Chahar could have ended up with two wickets in the opening over had Ruturaj Gaikwad not fluffed the offering from Chris Gayle at backward point.

The ‘Universe Boss,’ who had come in at the fall of Agarwal’s wicket, was yet to open his account.

“First over, when the catch went to Ruturaj, it was a quick one, only Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) could've taken that so I was like he should've been there. He's one of the best in the world, has taken so many catches off my bowling. I want 11 Jaddus on the field,” Chahar said of Jadeja, who ran out Punjab Kings opener and skipper KL Rahul, and in doing so, effected a run-out for the 22nd time, the most by any player in IPL history.

Jadeja also took two catches on the night, those of Gayle and Shahrukh Khan, who had made a defiant 47 from 36 deliveries with four boundaries and two sixes.

Chahar has flourished under MS Dhoni’s captaincy and he couldn’t thank him enough.

“It's a big responsibility I've been having since the last four years and Mahi bhai has shown faith in me. Hopefully, I can deliver in some more matches. As a bowler my plan is to bowl dots if I don't take wickets. The bowlers from the other end will also be able to take wickets,”

Meanwhile, MS Dhoni looked back at his journey with the franchise.

“It makes me feel very old,” joked Dhoni.

“It has been a very long journey. It started in 2008 — played in different conditions in South Africa, Dubai, and back home. I never thought Mumbai would be our home. It has been a very interesting journey,” he added.

Dhoni also spoke about the evolution of Deepak Chahar as a bowler. “Over the years, he (Chahar) has matured into a death bowler too but he's somebody who gets more purchase than other bowlers. If you're looking to attack, why not finish his first four overs,” added the 39-year-old.

Dhoni’s opposite number KL Rahul, meanwhile, was at a loss for words. ”There's not much more to say,” said Rahul, who turns 29 on Sunday.

“If any team loses five wickets in the first seven or eight overs, it's always going to be catch-up. They bowled well, we played some bad shots, that's how the game goes,” he added.

The Karnataka batsman said that they will have to take it on the chin and learn from it.

“But it's a good learning experience for us, hopefully we can learn from these mistakes and come back stronger in the next game. Last game we got 220, this game we couldn't get even half of it. It's important that we learn from our mistakes and that's the sort of team we want to be. We still want to go out there and play fearless cricket. It's T20 cricket, more often than not you'll score big runs but there'll be one or two games in a season where you lose wickets like this. It's important that we take it on the chin and move forward and get better next game,” the Bangalorean said.

The Chennai Super Kings next take on the Rajasthan Royals on April 19, while the Punjab Kings go up against the Delhi Capitals, in the second of the double-headers, on April 18.

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