Chennai Super Kings batsman Faf du Plessis on Thursday described his side scoring 45 runs in two overs to pull off a sensational five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their IPL match as "supernatural" which he would cherish for his life.
"To be part of a match like that I don't think I have ever been like that. I am super excited. To get those 45 runs or some thing in last two overs. I said it's going to take some supernatural," du Plessis, who scored 71 off 46 balls to be adjudged man-of-the-match, said in post match press conference.
"I think the special thing with our batting line up is that we bat so deep. Suresh comes in and he strikes the ball for fours and sixes and then Dhoni walks in and hits six. That takes a bit of pressure off me," said the South African.
Asked about the heroic effort by Albie Morkel who smashed 28 runs off seven balls to turn the match on its head in the 19th over, he said, "We were down and out. Hopefully that will be the turnaround of the season. We actually said to us this is going to be turning point. It will give us massive confidence in the games to come."
Du Plessis said his side knew that they could chase down the big target of 206 if they got a good start.
"It's a big score and so we thought we have to play really well to get there. To get a good start. We analysed the wicket and it's a good wicket. There wasn't much spin which was the key for us. If it started to spin in the second innings it really would have been tough. But it didn't spin much. The ball was coming on nicely. Just wickets in the hand towards the end was the key."
On his batting as an opener, he said, "I have been hitting the ball nicely. I knew for myself that a big score was just around the corner. I knew that I had to stay at the crease a bit longer and if I stay the runs will come. I am really enjoying the opening slot. It is new to me."
Asked how he felt facing Daniel Vettori and Muttiah Muralidaran together, du Plessis said, "Those two spinners are special. As a boy I watched them on TV. Muralidaran is a legend. So it was special to face him. First time I was facing him I had to look at the ball closely. But really enjoyed the challenge. I enjoyed Zaheer also. He is a classy bowler. I knew I had to attack him."
Du Plessis was involved in a third wicket partnership of 40 runs with captain MS Dhoni and asked about what transpired in the middle between them, he said, "We talked about certain bowlers who we can take on. Obviously Murali was bowling really well. It was the case of playing positively against him and not taking too big risk and try and attack other bowlers.
"I said I will try and score (off) Vettori's over because the run rate was really getting high. So luckily for me, we scored a few sixes in that over. He is just really just calm. He (Dhoni) is one of the best finishers in the game. To play with him was a nice learning opportunity for me," said du Plessis.
Bangalore player Muralidaran admitted that the 28 runs conceded by Virat Kohli in the 19th over turned the game.
On giving the penultimate over to Kohli by Bangalore captain Daniel Vettori, Muralidaran said, "Raju (Bhatkal) wasn't tried because he was playing his first match and was quite expensive (35 runs in two overs). We had 42 runs to defend and we thought we could win even if we were to concede 20 in that over. But it went for 28 and that turned the game."
Muralidaran, who claimed 3/21, denied that his side were complacent after posting a big total.
"We were not at all complacent. We knew they had batters who can chase down the target and wicket was also good. Both sides fought hard and in the end one side won. Cricket is a funny game and in T20 the chances are always 50-50. We also made a few mistakes, but nothing specific," he said.
On Gayle, a useful bowler, not taking the field during bowling, Muralidaran said, "It was so hot and humid compared to Bangalore and so he got cramps while batting. With a lot more matches coming, we didn't want to risk him and thought we should give him enough time to recover for the next match. We definitely missed him because he usually bowls 2-3 overs every match."