Dhoni Praises Vijay, Hussey for Laying Foundation for Victory

By Anand Philar 

Chennai, May 29 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni heaped praise on his team's opening batsmen - Murali Vijay and Michael Hussey for laying foundation of his team's triumph against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final match of the Indian Premier League here Saturday with a century partnership."Both Vijay and Hussey gave us a good start and that helped us to sustain the momentum. We didn't want to get desperate to win, but the intent was there. They challenged the fielders and rotated the strike," said Dhoni after his team Chennai Super Kings's won the final match against RCB by 58 runs.

Vijay (95) and Hussey 63) put on 159 runs in 14.5 overs as the Super Kings went on to post 205 for five in 20 overs. Also, they restricted the Royal Challengers to 148 for eight with Ravichandran Ashwin taking three wickets, including that of opener Chris Gayle.

"Our bowling was good in the first phase of the innings, but we didn't bowl too well thereafter. Ashwin has a big heart and he is not afraid to toss the ball up in the power-play when we have just two fielders in the deep.

"He had good support from other bowlers who picked up wickets, but it was the foundation that Vijay and Hussey laid that eventually helped us to win," said Dhoni who thus completed a four-in-a-row title triumphs, having earlier won the 2010 IPL and the Champions League, followed by the 2011 ICC World Cup.

Referring to the back-to-back IPL success, Dhoni said: "Last year, we almost did not qualify for the semi-finals, but this year, we played quite well from the beginning."

Dhoni's counterpart Daniel Vettori was obviously disappointed at the defeat, but admitted that the Super Kings played better cricket on the day.

"It was a good toss to win, but I thought we didn't bowl too well. We thought a target of 160-170 was gettable, but conceded far too many in the end.

"We did well earlier to top the league, but tonight, I thought the Super Kings played better cricket," said Vettori.

Vijay was adjudged Man of the Match while Gayle received the Player of the tournament award besides the Orange cap for topping the scorers' list in the league with a tally of 511 runs from nine matches.

Paul Valthathy of the Kings XI Punjab won the prize for the "best individual performance" for his 63-ball 120 not out against the Super Kings at Mohali.

Seamer Lasith Malinga of the Mumbai Indians topped among the bowlers with a haul of 27 wickets from 14 matches while team-mate and spinner Iqbal Abdulla was adjudged the "Rising Star" of the tournament for his 16 wickets.


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