Chennai, May 7 (IANS) Young Sri Lanka pacer Matheesha Pathirana shone the brightest with his deadly spell of 3-15 in four overs as Chennai Super Kings beat Mumbai Indians by six wickets in a one-sided IPL 2023 match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
He did not concede a single boundary in his spell on Saturday night, with the standout being taking out Nehal Wadhera with an accurate and fiery 145kph yorker and denying Mumbai the finishing kick they needed.
Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad praised Pathirana for his spell and revealed that he doesn’t face the pacer with a slinging action in the nets as his deliveries are tough to be picked.
“In the nets, I’ve faced only 10-12 balls and I was like ‘I don’t want to face him’ because obviously he is tough to pick and tough to judge the length of the ball because the first thing is you’re finding where it is coming from and the second thing is judging the length and judging the line, so you’re always slightly late when facing him and thankfully he is in our team,” he said after the match ended.
In chasing down a modest 140, Devon Conway top-scored with 44 while Gaikwad was amazing in his 16-ball 30.
“I think it was just to have a positive intent and if it’s (ball) there in your area just go for it. There was no plan to try and maximise the powerplay. I think I was lucky to get some balls in my area and same with Devon (Conway) as well.”
“Obviously, our aim is to give a good start to the team and sometimes he is able to get a few loose balls and he is able to catch on it and sometimes it’s me. So, it is important with the impact player rule to you know make sure you don’t hold yourself back and try and express yourself,” he added on the batting approach in the chase.
Gaikwad also elaborated on the preparation undertaken by Chennai, the four-time IPL champions, before the beginning of the season.
“I think, behind the scenes, I would say the work starts right from the pre-season camp. Not many international cricketers are able to join because of their international duties, so the domestic players and whoever is done with their domestic season are available to join. So, I think the work starts from there.”
“Everyone gets an opportunity to express themselves, to discuss with various coaches and also with the skipper. It does help a lot as a player when there are few people around who feed a lot of confidence and a lot of positivity in you. Even though you have faced 10 balls, you have played 7-8 deliveries badly, there are people who come to you and tell you the two-three balls you played were outstanding, brilliant or good intent.”
“So, I think there are people who always look for positives and I think that as a player growing up you always feel like ‘will I be able to do well at a certain level?’ because the confidence is not there. So, CSK I feel is a big plus in that department because even if you are playing or not playing, everyone treats everyone the same.”
Chennai are in second place in the points table with 13 points and next face Delhi Capitals at home on Wednesday.