Mumbai: The run-outs of Suresh Raina and Brendon McCullum saw Chennai Super Kings lose momentum when chasing the huge target set by Kings XI Punjab in the IPL Qualifier 2, said CSK's coach Stephen Fleming after his side lost by 24 runs at the Wankhede Stadium.
"We did not feel we were out of the game and certainly the first six overs showed how good the pitch was. Tough chasing that amount of runs over a period of time you are going to get setbacks but there's no doubt those two runs outs were instrumental in our losing our momentum," said Fleming after his side ended at 202 for seven chasing KXIP's ground record score of 226 for six.
"We lost Suresh and the run out of Brendon were two key moments of the game, that's why we stuttered during middle and later parts of the chase. They also bowled well, bang on target. It was tough for bowlers as 420-odd runs were scored.
Their execution was better than us," said the former Kiwi skipper after his side failed to make it six out of seven finals in IPL history. Raina belted 6 sixes and 12 fours in a knock of 87 in 25 balls before he was run out brilliantly by rival captain George Bailey off the first ball post powerplay, which yielded 100 runs.
New Zealand captain McCullum, who is known for big hitting, was run out six overs later for 11 and from then on the Super Kings were left to play catch-up though captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni tried his best making an unbeaten 42 in 31 balls that narrowed the margin of defeat.
"We lost wickets at regular intervals once we lost Suresh (Raina). It's very hard, the pressure of chasing a big target and you really need a big partnership of substance and a very big score. 85 (in fact 87) was a wonderful score, but we probably needed 140 out of Suresh and the other guys to bat around them. He could have won the match for us quite easily if he been around for 3-4 more overs," he added...