« Back to articlePrint this article

'In last phase of his career', Dhoni thanks fans for the love

April 22, 2023 00:06 IST

CSK's Mahendra Singh Dhoni  

IMAGE: CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was grateful to the fans at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai after their win over SRH on Friday. Photograph: BCCI

Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday dropped a hint that this could be his last Indian Premier League season a player, saying "it's the last phase of my career".

Dhoni's side gave the fans at the Chinnaswamy stadium much to rejoice on Friday night, defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets, with New Zealand cricketer Devon Conway scoring his third half-century of this IPL season and Ravindra Jadeja claiming three crucial wickets.


Chasing 134/7, CSK scored the winning runs with eight balls to spare with Conway scoring an unbeaten 57-ball 77 and sharing an 87-run partnership with Ruturaj Gaikwad (35) for the opening wicket.

Overcome by the huge roar and support of the crowd when he came out of the dugout after his team won the match, Dhoni said, "All said and done, it's the last phase of my career, however long I play. After two years, the fans have had the opportunity to come here and watch, feels good to be here. Crowd has given us a lot of love and affection," said Dhoni after the match.

Dhoni was all praise for young Sri Lankan pace bowler Matheesha Pathirana, who bowled four superb overs and grabbed two wickets, even though he was a little expensive, conceding 42 runs.

"Not getting enough chances to bat, but no complaints. I was hesitant to bat second because I had that feeling there won't be a lot of dew. When there are chances of dew, you have to bat second. "Spinners once they came in, bowled a very good length. Fast bowlers once they came back, especially Pathirana, bowled superbly," added Dhoni.

Conway said CSK were trying to perfect a winning template after yet another dominating display.

Devon Conway scored a brisk half-century

IMAGE: Devon Conway scored a brisk half-century. Photograph: BCCI

Conway, who turned the match into a no contest with his unbeaten half-ton, added that the below-par score of 134 set by SRH made the home team take fewer risks while chasing.

Though CSK completed the task in 18.4 overs, they could have finished the job much earlier but they chose caution over aggression at the M A Chidambaram Stadium.

"Nice to be there in the end and get the win. Plan for us is simple. Every game, doesn't change too much. Play good cricket shows in the powerplay and put the bowlers under pressure. We try and look to repeat that regardless of what the score is," said Conway.

"We probably got the best of the conditions, probably (the ball) didn't hold as much as it did in the first innings. (The) pitch we experienced in Bangalore (against RCB) was a lot better. We knew we didn't have to be too reckless here."

The New Zealander had struck 83 off 45 balls against RCB on a belter of a Chinnaswamy Stadium as CSK made a mammoth 226 for six on April 17 and defeated Faf du Plessis' side by eight runs.

Losing team skipper, Aiden Markram said the SRH batters had let the side down.

"Never nice to lose, disappointed. Let ourselves down with the bat. Lacked partnerships of substance. It wasn't a 130-odd wicket, more closer to 160. Tough to get momentum if you don't have partnerships. "They (CSK) bowled well in the middle overs, didn't give us much to score of. We knew their spinners will play a big role, it was more about each person having his own plan to counter that.

"The guys had their plans but we couldn't get it right tonight ultimately. We need some wins now, have to see how we can get better with the bat."

© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.