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MS Dhoni hails Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir after their starring role against KKR

"They are like wine and they are maturing."

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. (Photo: IANS)

What was billed as the biggest game of the season so far turned out to be a dull affair as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) made light work of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Chepauk. It was a near perfect game from the defending champions as they dismantled the visitors by seven wickets to move to the top of the points table. CSK were behind KKR in the points table before the game started but are now the sole leaders with 5 wins in six games.

Asked to bat first, the Knight Riders never looked at ease on the tough Chepauk track and could manage just 108 for 9. At one stage, they were reeling at 35 for 5 and then 47 for 6 before an unbeaten fifty from Andre Russell gave some respectability to the total. In reply, the Super Kings crossed the finishing line in the 18th over at the loss of three wickets. Two of the biggest architects of the win were veteran spinners, Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir.

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The senior spinners once again proved that T20s are not just for youngsters with their inspired displays. After Deepak Chahar dismissed Lynn in the very first over, Harbhajan accounted for Narine in the very next to put the Super Kings on top. Tahir then dismissed Dinesh Karthik and Shubman Gill before Harbhajan returned to pick up the wicket of Piyush Chawla.  In 8 overs between them, Harbhajan and Tahir conceded just 36 runs while picking up 4 wickets.

Delighted with the duo’s performance, Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni lavished praise on them, comparing them with wine which gets better with age in the post-match presentation ceremony.

“The age is on their side (Bhajji and Tahir). They are like wine and they are maturing. Bhajji has done well in whatever games he has played. I have fallen back on Imran whenever needed and he has come up with very good performances. Overall, the bowling unit looks good. But once we play on better and flatter wickets with smaller boundaries, we will have to see what is the best combination to play with,” Dhoni said.

Dhoni criticises pitch:

While the Super Kings have won all of their four home games this season,  Dhoni did not refrain from criticising the Chepauk track which has been nothing less than a nightmare for the batsmen. Teams batting first this season at the Chepuak have scored 70, 175, 160 and 108. In fact, only one visiting team has scored over 150 in Chennai this year.

“I don’t think we want to be playing on these tracks. It becomes too low scoring. It becomes slightly difficult for our batsmen as well. It is slightly more difficult batting first but once the dew comes in, it gets better,” Dhoni said.

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