February 24, 2024

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Moeen is always Dhoni’s first choice of man to go, pick up wickets under pressure, says De Villiers

Chennai : Former South African cricketer AB de Villiers feels Moeen Ali is always Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain M.S Dhoni’s first choice of man to go and pick up wickets under pressure as England all-rounder did against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the ongoing IPL 2023.

All-rounder Ali (4-0-26-4) did the star turn as CSK kept LSG at bay in a high-scoring match of the IPL 2023 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Monday night.

Chasing a target of 218, LSG fell short by a mere 12 runs as they finished proceedings on 205/7. Ali was well supported by Mitchell Santner who took 1-21 in 4 overs.

Earlier, the hosts had put up 217/7 thanks mainly to the exploits of opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who smashed 57 (31b, 3×4, 4×6), his second half-century in two games. Spinner Ravi Bishnoi emerged as the best bowler for LSG returning with figures of 3/28.

In reply, the visitors got off to a strong start putting on 79 in 5.2 overs before opener Kyle Mayers was out, for a whirlwind 53 off only 22 balls, to Ali.

The vastly experienced English all-rounder then went on to account for skipper K.L. Rahul, Krunal Pandya and Marcus Stoinis, too, ensuring CSK never lost a grip of the contest.

JioCinema IPL expert De Villiers complimented the spinner and highlighted how Dhoni relies on Moeen’s wicket-taking ability.

“He’s always Dhoni’s first pick of man to go and pick up wickets under pressure. I thought he should’ve bowled a little earlier but MS the master and the guru, he always knows better,” said De Villiers.

Another expert Suresh Raina praised Ali’s match-winning ability.

“Whenever he bowls, he keeps the ball away from the batter and Mahi bhai knows this because K.L. Rahul is an important player for India and an important player in the IPL who has scored 600 runs before,” he said.

Meanwhile, CSK skipper Dhoni crossed the 5,000-run mark in the IPL with two magnificently-struck sixes. His personal milestone came in for praise from Robin Uthappa. He spoke on the difficulty of hitting paceman Mark Wood for two sixes.

“The fastest bowler in the world is bowling to him from the front and at the age of 41, don’t forget, at that age on the second delivery at a pace of 145-147 (kmh), hitting a six down the square leg isn’t easy, especially on one leg,” said. Uthappa

Mayers also scored his second consecutive half-century to stay in the hunt for the Orange Cap.

“He puts his backfoot down and that is an anchor for his shots, whether backfoot or front foot. He almost flinches with his front foot a bit, just gets those toes and that gives him a great base to hit the ball anywhere in the park. When he’s standing, his head is nice and upright, the technique is there, and the strokes are magical,” said De Villiers about Mayers’ technique.

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