Warne all praise for top-order batsmen

May 24th, 2008 - 11:35 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, May 24 (IANS) Despite four changes in the team, Rajasthan Royals managed to win against Chennai Super Kings here Saturday night and that reflected the depth of their talent, according to skipper Shane Warne. Speaking to the media after beating Royals by 10 runs, Warne said: “Till the 14th over, I thought Super Kings might yet win the game with about an over to spare. But the wicket of Parthiv Patel was crucial and it helped us get back into the game.”

Warne was all praise for his three top-order batsmen, Graeme Smith (91), Swapnil Asnodkar (41) and Kamran Akmal (53 not out), saying they laid the foundation for a big total.

“I am happy that Kamran came good with the bat tonight as we might push him up to open the innings since Smith will be missing our next match due to a hamstring injury,” said Warne.

The wily leg-spinner declared he would continue to experiment with his team’s line-up in the remaining two matches since Royals have already qualified for the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Warne’s counterpart, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was understandably disappointed at his team’s sixth defeat, but expressed confidence that Super Kings would beat Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad next week and qualify for the semi-finals.

“Of course, tonight’s other game between Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians is very much at the back of our minds as the result there would definitely affect us,” he said with reference to the game at the Ferozshah Kotla.

Dhoni felt that his team’s bowling, especially at the start, was rather disappointing. “We did not bowl well at the start, but we came back strongly in the latter part of the innings. Morkel, Parthiv and Raina batted extremely well today, but the pressure was always on us because of the big target,” he said.

He said the weather was a factor as it was hot and humid and fielding in such conditions was tough. “But being professionals, we cannot complain about these things. Today, our bowling was not up to the mark and we need to improve,” he said.

Looking ahead to Super Kings’ concluding league fixture, he said: “We will definitely play good cricket against Chargers next week and qualify for the semi-finals.”

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