Dubai, Apr 26: Chennai Super Kings yesterday produced a clinical performance to register their third consecutive win in IPL-7 and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni attributed the success to the "superb" death bowling of his pace battery.
Young Mohit Sharma Mohit (4/14) shone with the ball before Brendon McCullum smashed a belligerent unbeaten 71 to guide Chennai to a comfortable seven-wicket win over defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Mohit produced a fine death bowling display to help Chennai restrict the title holders to a modest 141 for seven.
"The death bowling was superb. In the middle overs they (Mumbai) had a partnership going which meant we were under a bit of pressure. It meant the bowlers had to step up," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"We were not sure how the wicket would play in the second half. Last game we played here we realised the slower one works really well, you had to hit the right areas which Mohit did," he said.
Chasing the target, Dwayne Smith (29) and McCullum got Chennai off to a flier scoring 57 runs for the opening wicket which set the platform for the win which eventually came with an over to spare.
Dhoni was quick to compliment both his openers - Smith and McCullum - for their efforts.
"If Dwayne Smith gets going, McCullum takes a backseat, and if there is a change in momentum, McCullum takes charge. They have complemented each other very well. Following them we have got (Suresh) Raina, (Faf) du Plessis, we have good firepower to capitalise," he said.
Losing captain Rohit Sharma feels they were 20 runs short of what could have been a winning score on this pitch.
"That was the target, unfortunately we could not get to 160, I was a little disappointed. We did not start well, batted well in the middle but did not finish off well. It was a good batting track. 140 was not a big target," said Rohit, who scored a half-century today.
"In the last three games we have not scored more than 140 which shows there is some work to do there. Bowlers have done well in all the three games."
Man-of-the-match Mohit said he was just trying to keep things simple and was following his skipper's instructions to mix his deliveries at the death.
"Captain said wicket was on the slower side, don't bowl the same pace, mix it up, it is hard to hit the slower one on this surface," Mohit said.
"When you bowled quicker, the ball came on and was easier to hit. It was not easy to hit when you mix up your pace. We bowled well at the death and they were not able to get as many as they would have wanted to. But 140 was still a good score. McCullum and Smith batted well," he signed off.