Sam Billing was awarded the man of the match for his brilliant 23-ball 56 which turned around the game for Chennai Super Kings in their second match of the season at the iconic Chepauk Stadium in Chennai against Kolkata Knight Riders. Billings kept his calm and held his ground with CSK skipper Dhoni to keep his team’s chances alive in the match and in the post-match conference credited Dhoni for his calmness on the pitch. Billing and Dhoni put up a crucial 54 runs partnership at the time when the team was losing wickets to ensure CSK remained in the game.
It was the first time, Billings was batting with Dhoni on the opposite end he reckoned it helped him miles in remaining cool and composed during the chase. It was Chennai Super Kings’ homecoming to the Chepauk and the fans were treated with a thriller encounter which saw CSK edge out KKR on the 5th ball of the 20th over to chase down 202 and continue their winning streak in the tournament. In the post-match press conference after taking his man of the match award, Billings threw light on how Dhoni’s calmness at the other end helped him bat well.
“It’s about being composed and there’s not a better person to have at the crease than Dhoni,” Billings said at the post-match press conference. “He (Dhoni) is so composed and calm. It’s impossible for it not to kind of rub on to you. It was about building a partnership together,” Billings’ went on to add as his admiration for the former Indian captain was quite evident. Dhoni failed to live up to the hype of the crowd at Chennai and managed to put only one into the park but his 25 runs cameo helped steady the ship for CSK and provided Billings with the license to kill on the other end.
Talking about his match-winning skills, Billings hailed Dhoni as someone who has been donning the finishing job over the years for each team that he plays for. “Once you get in and are busy, you pick up these boundaries and sixes as well. We know how much power we have got throughout the side. It’s just a matter of playing pretty smart. And in his whole career, he’s just played it very smart and just finished off more games than anyone else,” said Billings who was caught by Robin Uthappa on a Tom Curran delivery but not before putting CSK in a position to win the game.
Dwayne Bravo who was integral in CSK’s win against the Mumbai Indians in the season opener was once again on top of his game as he came on to bat in the 19th over and played a cameo of 11(5) to dispatch Vinay Kumar for a six in the first ball of the last over and bring the equation in his team’s favour. With 4 runs required off the last two balls, Ravindra Jadeja capitalised on a good length delivery from Vinay Kumar to send it into the crowd and earn Chennai Super Kings’ their second successive victory in the IPL 2018.