Abu Dhabi: Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today conceded that his side were beaten "fair and square" by a better opponent in their six-wicket loss against Kings XI Punjab in an IPL thriller here.
CSK posted a huge 205 for four after electing to bat thanks to half centuries from Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum but KXIP chased down the target with seven balls to spare, riding on Glenn Maxwell's magnificent 43-ball 95 and an unbeaten 54 from David Miller.
"When you score 200, you have to remember the opposition has every chance of scoring it as well. It was a fantastic wicket, they batted really well. We did well but they beat us fair and square," Dhoni said after the match. Dhoni said his side could have done better but refused to blame anybody for the loss.
"We should have done better with the ball. Batsmen did their job and bowlers should have had different plans for different players. Bowl right areas. The margin of error is very small. There was not much spin. Overall, it will be difficult for the bowlers.
The game was down to the batsman," he said. Asked about Dwayne Bravo's injury, Dhoni said, "Still he was not fit to bowl today, we played him as a batsman so we were a bowler short." An elated KXIP captain George Bailey said he told his team-mates to be positive in their approach while chasing the mammoth target of 206.
"I told players to just try and be positive. It was a pretty good wicket. We pulled it back with the ball in the middle overs considering they (CSK) were heading for 230," Bailey said. "Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) has been in great touch and we hope he carries on for the team."
Man-of-the-Match Glenn Maxwell said he was happy to chase down the huge target, especially as it was against a strong side like CSK. "I play with the bowler to try and upset the bowler and find the gaps.
Feels pretty good to chase down 200+ against Chennai, they're a pretty good team. Hopefully the batsmen can keep it up and the bowlers can chip in as well," said Maxwell who scored 95 from 43 balls with the help of 15 fours and two sixes.