Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming was left in awe of Gujarat Titans batter David Miller’s stupendous knock of 94, saying that the left-handed batter was “positive against playing spinners”.
Miller’s match-winning knock, containing eight fours and six sixes, meant that Gujarat, who were in trouble at 87/5 in 12.4 overs, successfully chased down 169 with a ball to spare at MCA Stadium in Pune and maintained their top position in the points table as well.
“Well, he played really well and played positively against the spinners, which was like a counter-attack after we made early inroads. But it was a quality knock. Our spinners were probing when we going well at that stage. So, he kept them in the game with some good hitting, took some good options down the ground and we weren’t able to find any weakness there,” said Fleming in the post-match virtual press conference.
“One thing about weaknesses with players is that they are wary of them and work around them to make it better. Quality players opt to make changes and come back with bit of form. The way Dave played tonight, you would say it would be the case,” added Fleming.
Asked about the factors which led to Chennai facing their fifth loss of IPL 2022, Fleming pointed towards difference in last five overs in batting innings of his team and Gujarat. Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad marked his return to form with a sparkling 73 at his home ground while Ambati Rayudu made a quick 31-ball 46.
But once the duo fell, Chennai could get only 44 runs in last five overs for the loss of two wickets. In comparison, Gujarat were powered by Miller and Rashid Khan’s 40, fetching them 62 runs for the loss of two wickets.
“I think there were a lot of moments in the match that one could overanalyse, but the two contributing factors were an outstanding innings from David Miller and a very good cameo from Rashid (Khan) towards the end. The other aspect that was notable was the last five overs in our innings.
“They bowled well and we didn’t capitalise on what was a very good base. There were some key moments throughout, but that was the two areas – the last five overs with the bat for us and the last five overs when they batted, where difference in scoring happened.”
Fleming was left to rue the moments where Chennai were ahead of Gujarat in the match but still ended up on the losing side, like keeping Gujarat to 37/3 in power-play. “It’s a hard one (the loss). We had times in the game when we were really in control with the bat and then with the start we had, we were in really good shape.”
“So, to lose games like that where we were a fair bit upfront, is often hard to take. They played really well and took the game away from us. We could have been better in some departments but they still played really well.”