MS Dhoni almost got Chennai Super Kings (CSK) over the line with a refreshing 79 not out off 44 balls against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the Indian Premier League 2018 match on Sunday. CSK fell short by just four runs, which was also their first loss of the season. KL Rahul, who gave his team a rousing start by scoring 37 off 22 balls, was asked about the plan to contain the CSK skipper in the last over. "The plan was to bowl wide yorkers at him because he was struggling with his back...but good back or bad back, you pitch it in his arc and he is still going to hit it miles. It was good learning for our bowling attack, but still early stage in this IPL," he said at a post-match press conference.
Rahul also shot a warning to rival teams in the IPL and said, "Beware of Chris Gayle as he is back to his brutal best." Gayle, playing his first game of the season, smashed his second fastest IPL fifty, off 22 balls, to lay the foundation for KXIP's thrilling four-run win over CSK on Sunday night.
"It is amazing news for our team and bad news for the other teams that Chris Gayle is hitting the ball well. We all know he is a player who can win games single-handedly and demolish attacks on his day and that's what he did today. We want him and we expect him to continue this form forward," said Rahul.
Not so long ago, Gayle went unsold in the auction twice before KXIP picked him up for a base price of Rs 2 crore, the same amount they paid for Yuvraj Singh.
KXIP play their next home game against SunRisers Hyderabad.
CSK head coach Stephen Fleming also heaped praise on Gayle and said that the Jamaican star played really well that made a big difference.
Fleming, however, said CSK did "incredibly well" to restrict the score to somewhere under 200 because at one stage KXIP looked poise to reach 220 plus.
"So the character for the second half of that bowling innings was very good as we were able to get some wickets, create some pressure..so, I am really impressed and proud of the effort," said the New Zealander.
(With PTI inputs)