New Delhi: Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming has defended Dwayne Bravo and blamed the batsmen for their unexpected 34-run loss against Delhi Daredevils in the IPL here.
All-rounder Bravo bled 26 runs in the 20th over which enabled the hosts to post 162 for five on a slow wicket. DD then returned to restrict CSK to 128 for six.
"Most teams have problems in the death overs. Bravo helped us in the last game by restricting the opposition to 180 when it was set to reach 200. It is just nature of the game. He has had good days in the tournament and today was not so good. Overall, the bowling effort was pretty good," said Fleming after the loss at Kotla last night.
"I think we lost the game with the bat. We were not able to generate partnerships of substance. It brought the slowness of wicket into play. It was hard to generate any momentum though we did have the intent. I thought the wicket would speed up like it tends to do here but they mixed things up nicely," the former New Zealand captain said.
MS Dhoni (17) and Suresh Raina (15) failed to get their team over the line after the in-form Ambati Rayudu laid the platform with 50 off 29 balls.
Asked to elaborate on what went wrong in the chase, Fleming said: "Raina got out after the break. If you pushed on from there, the game would have been a lot different. They took their catches and applied pressure. It was a close game but just lost too many wickets at key times."
Delhi all-rounder and Man of the Match Harshal Patel said the wicket played slower in the second half than the earlier two games where the visiting teams chase down 180 plus target comfortably.
"Defending here is always difficult. However, when the dew came on the wicket did not get a lot better as it did in the earlier two games. We had also made the mistake of bowling too fast and too full in the previous games. We learnt from that also," said Patel, who smashed an unbeaten 36 off 16 balls before taking the prize wicket of Rayudu.
He added that Daredevils would be going for a win in their last game of the season against Mumbai Indians on Sunday.