Chennai Super Kings chief coach Stephen Fleming attributed the three-wicket defeat to Delhi Capitals in a contest between table-toppers to "difficult conditions" where stroke-play was tough and hitting big shots required lots of effort.
After electing to bowl, Delhi Capitals restricted the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK to 136/5 before surmounting the target with only two balls to spare. Dhoni found accelerating the run-rate difficult and could only score 18 off 27 deliveries before giving an easy catch to Rishabh Pant off Avesh Khan.
Fleming said that not just the CSK skipper but players from both sides struggled to score big on Monday.
"Well, he (Dhoni) wasn't the only one who struggled. It was a difficult day for strokeplay. When 137 (136) is almost enough, I think it was a tough wicket to score big on in terms of the big shots. So both teams struggled with that towards the end of the innings. Sometimes you set your sights too high, (want) too many, and probably we were only 10-15 runs short of having a match-winning score," said Fleming.
In fact, CSK were comfortably placed at 48/2 by the end of the powerplay, but slowed down considerably towards the middle overs, so much so that they couldn't hit a boundary in the next five overs.
Thanks to Ambati Rayudu's unbeaten 55 off 43 deliveries, CSK managed a competitive total, but Dhoni couldn't get his strokeplay going, consuming 27 deliveries for his 18 runs and not hitting even a single boundary.
The scene left Dhoni fans heartbroken who remember all the great scores that the cricketer has pulled off in the past. Many took to social media to show their support for him.
Have a look.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)