By CricketCountry Staff
Chennai: May 23, 2012
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener Faf du Plessis has revealed that on the day of the penultimate league match, he and Albie Morkel had tweeted to Dale Steyn to get early breakthroughs which could help them escape through to playoffs. du Plessis said he was delighted to watch Steyn’s magical spell that sunk Royal Challengers Banagalore.
“The previous day, Albie [Morkel] and I had sent out a Tweet to Dale Steyn saying ‘Please do us a favour and just get some early wickets,’ and he was just unbelievable. He took three wickets for eight runs. Another South African, JP Duminy, too scored big runs. It was the two South Africans who came to the party to see CSK through.” said du Plessis.
Chennai Super Kings were on the brink of elimination after their loss to Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Their only ray of hope rested on Deccan Chargers, whose victory over Bangalore could see them through. Although not many people had given Deccan a chance especially after posting an ordinary total, but a brilliant spell from Dale Steyn floored the mighty team owned by Vijay Mallya.
“We shouldn’t be here but we are here. You have to think that someone is on our side to push us to get another trophy.
“Very lucky. To be honest with you, I saw the first two matches, but the third one I just said, ‘I don’t see DC beating the powerhouse that RCB has’. I did not think it would be possible for us to get through. When it is one result going in your favour, it is asking for a lot; but to have three results going in your favour, it is next to impossible,” he said.
The defending Champions will play Mumbai Indians at Bangalore, ironically at a venue which could have seen its home team in action.
Chennai have lost both their matches to Mumbai Indians this season which included a thrilling last-ball finish at Wankhede Stadium. However, du Plessis was upbeat about his team’s chances and felt, the two previous defeats against the same team won’t bother much.
“I think something that CSK has done very well as compared to MI in crossing the final hurdle. MI has been fantastic always in the round robin, but sometimes they haven’t gone past the knockout stage. In the past, we have been the better side in the big games, so that’s what matters in this game,” du Plessis was quoted as saying by the official website of Indian Premier League.
The leading run-scorer for Chennai was wary of Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga whose devastating Yorkers have troubled batsmen around the world. “To have someone like [Lasith] Malinga is a great boost. He plays a key role in the bowling department and how we play him is going to be very important. He has done well in the matches against CSK.
“They have got good finishers and so do we; the only difference between the two teams is Malinga, who’s the best T20 bowler in the world. For us, [Ben] Hilfenhaus has been doing well with the new ball, which is something we lacked until he came. That adds strength to our team,” said a cautious du Plessis.
Despite being the leading run-scorer Du Plessis couldn’t find a place in the playing XI after facing stiff competition from Michael Hussey for a slot at the top. With Ben Hilfenhaus turning out to be a match-winning bowler, Chennai have rightly persisted with the pacer among their four foreign players.
“I was sick for two games; I had bad viral fever. That created a chance for Michael to come back in to the setup and he has done well. Now, it’s a difficult one for the selectors, because I have been doing really well and so is Hussey. Now, I am back to 100 percent and I obviously want to play. But it’s up to Fleming and MS [Dhoni] and what they think will be the best team on that day,” said an optimistic du Plessis.
After an inconsistent performance in the league matches this season, Chennai have been fortunate to secure an opportunity to defend their title for second time in a row.