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Need to apply ourselves: Dhoni

Cape Town: Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels that the indisciplined performance of the bowlers cost Chennai Super Kings the Champions League T20 match against Highveld Lions on Tuesday.

He said that his side lost the momentum because the bowlers conceded free hits to the opposition at crucial moments in the match.

The Lions hit a six off a free hit in the ninth over, which was bowled by Albie Morkel. Then Ravichandran Ashwin hit another boundary after conceding a similar penalty in the 17th over. And Dhoni said that these had shifted the momentum in favour of the opposition.

“The timing of the no-balls was crucial… These small things matter. All of a sudden the momentum shifted, they were able to score a lot more freely,” Dhoni said at the post match presentation ceremony.

Dhoni said that he was happy with the batsmen’s efforts.

“We got off to a very good start… We lost too many wickets in the middle, so we were not able to slog the way we could have, but we still got the score we wanted. I think 158 was a good score,” he said.

The Super Kings are now in a difficult position, having lost to the Sydney Sixers in their opening match on October 14 but Dhoni said that they would give their best in the remaining two matches and see what happens.

“It’s difficult for us now to qualify for the semi-finals but nothing comes easy. We have to learn from our mistakes… We need to apply ourselves and play according to the situation,” said Dhoni.

Lions captain Alviro Petersen heaped praise on his batsmen, especially Gulam Bodi who struck a 46-ball 64, for the win.

“Halfway through the game I thought we gave 15 runs too many. The batsmen stayed calm. Gulam Bodi played exceptionally well… Neil McKenzie and the two young men finished it for us.

“It was a case of getting to the last three overs. Guys at the end showed some mettle and steel,” he said.

“Generally 10-15 overs is a sort of dead period, you tend to knock it around, but Gulam never allowed the rate to go beyond 10-11 runs an over.” Aaron Phangiso, who took two wickets, was the Man of the Match.