Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday heaped praise on Suresh Raina and Murali Vijay for setting the platform for the comfortable 97-run victory over Wayamba in Group A match of the Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament in Centurion.
Raina (87 off 44) and Vijay (68 off 48) shared a 137-run second wicket partnership, that came off just 72 deliveries, to help Chennai post a mammoth 200 for three and set the tone for the convincing win at the SuperSport Park.
"We did not want to bat first because on this ground it is very hard to defend. But once we were sent into bat we needed something over 180.
"And that's exactly what the batsmen did. They started cautiously and after that Suresh Raina and Murali Vijay batted brilliantly. They were easily picking up boundaries and in the end 200 is a very good score to defend," Dhoni said after his side had inched a step closer towards semi-finals following their second consecutive win in Group A.
"We want to win each and every game that we play. But we always talk of not thinking too much about the result, instead prepare well for the game. It is really important to prepare well and execute your plans on the field," he said.
The Chennai skipper also lauded his quick bowlers Doug Bollinger and Albie Morkel for their impressive display upfront.
"It is important to have a quick bowler in the side. Dougie (Bollinger) came in as a replacement for us and all of a sudden the team looked different with his inclusion because pace really matters," Dhoni said.
"Equally important was Albie Morkel's spell because he has got the knack of picking wickets," he added.
His Wayamba counterpart Jehan Mubarak was of the view that his bowlers' awful performance in the middle overs cost his side the match.
He also lauded Chennai for their clinical display.
"They are a very good team and we knew we had to play our best cricket if we desired to beat them. But they brought out their best game today. Suresh (Raina) batted extremely well," Mubarak said.
"We got a good start with (Ajantha) Mendis opening the bowling but there were four big overs in the middle, which produced in excess of 20 runs and I think that cost us the game," he insisted.
Mubarak said opting to bat after winning the toss was not a wrong decision but his batters struggled from the onset of their innings.
"In Twenty20 cricket, the wicket and toss don't make a big difference. The wicket was pretty much the same all throughout the game but we struggled with the bat.
"We lost too many wickets early on and when you need to chase 10 an over from the start there is additional pressure on the batsmen," he said.
Man-of-the-match Suresh Raina was also of the view that his second-wicket partnership with Vijay did the trick for his side.
"Vijay batted really well. Vijay and I got a very good partnership which set the tone. But at the end of the day credit goes to the team. We executed our plan really well," he said.