Chennai, May 9: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni admitted that it was a mistake to bowl Pawan Negi in the 19th over of the match against Mumbai Indians (MI) last night in the Indian Premier League 2015 (IPL 8).
Left-arm spinner Negi was handed the ball by skipper Dhoni to bowl the penultimate over of the match. At that stage, MI required 30 to win off 12 balls.
The 19th over turned the match completely towards MI as 25 runs came from 6 balls. Hardik Pandya smashed 3 sixes in the over and Ambati Rayudu had 1.
With just 5 needed in the final over bowled by Dwayne Bravo, MI won with 6 wickets and 4 balls to spare. MI chased down 159 in 19.2 overs. Pandya, the 21-year-old right-hander won the Man-of-the-match award for his 8-ball 21 not out.
Speaking after their first home loss in the season, Dhoni admitted his mistake of bowling a spinner but added that he had no choice since the fast bowlers had not done well.
"It was more of a tactical error," Dhoni said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
"I was pushed to take the decision (to bowl Negi in the 19th over) because our fast bowlers did not bowl well. Negi has bowled well. He was under pressure. No problems that it did not come through," the captain said.
Rival skipper Rohit Sharma said he had to take a gamble between Pandya and Harbhajan Singh to bat at number six.
As Rohit walked back to the dug-out after being dismissed for 18, he gestured towards the bench that Pandya should walk out to bat and it paid off.
"He (Pandya) strikes the ball really well. It was a gamble between him and Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh), but Hardik being a batsman, we had to go with him," Rohit said as MI completed 5th consecutive win to stay in the hunt for a playoff berth.