Left-handed batters on ground with short boundaries did the trick for CSK: Maxwell

Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore all-rounder Glenn Maxwell feels Chennai Super Kings’ left-handers did the trick for the four-time champions by exploiting the shorter boundaries to the hilt to earn a crucial eight-run win in their IPL clash here.

CSK won the high-scoring ‘Southern Derby’ on Monday, with three of their left-handers — opener Devon Conway (83 off 45 balls), middle-order bat Shivam Dube (52 off 27) and Moeen Ali (19 not out off 9) — helping them amass 226 for 6, which proved to be a winning total.

“I think with short boundaries (at the Chinnaswamy Stadium), they played heavy left-handers. Devon Conway batted for a long period in that innings,” said Maxwell, who could have taken the match away from MS Dhoni’s side had he remained at the crease for a little bit longer.

The Australian all-rounder, who struck his second half-century in this IPL, added that bringing in left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed to bowl to left-handers would have been a risky proposition.

“I think, it would have been a risk to bowl Shahbaz Ahmed to those guys,” said Maxwell, though he added that the 28-year-old all-rounder was a “clever bowler”.

Both Faf du Plessis (62 off 33balls) and Maxwell (76 off 36) departed in quick succession in the middle overs, with Dhoni taking their catches.

The Australian wished he or his skipper had stayed a little bit longer, which could have turned the complexion of the game.

“We did so well to get so close. We got into a position where probably we should have won the game, I suppose, if one of us was there a little bit longer.

“We were trying to get as hard as we could to get the run rate under 10 and make it a little bit easier at the back end. But a pretty exciting game of cricket, unfortunately we fell a little it short.” Maxwell said the conditions were just perfect for him to come out in his favourite position at No.4 following the loss of two early wickets of Virat Kohli (6) and Mahipal Lomror (0).

“Whenever I’ve batted at No 4, I’ve generally played well. I think the pressure, the new ball swinging, it’s a pretty familiar role that I played (against CSK). Especially for Australia, I’ve played that role many a times. Even at this ground in international cricket, when it comes to mind, it’s not something that is foreign to me chasing big totals,” he added.

Maxwell said Faf took the pressure off him early on in the innings and helped him to build the momentum later on in powerplay.

“I think I have a really clear mindset, the role that I have to play. I think together with Faf, he took a lot of pressure off me early on in my innings. I was able to take that momentum going towards the back end of the powerplay.

“Once we got out of the powerplay, it was just about making sure that we kept the run-rate ticking along. During the partnership, I thought we got to a position where we were on top,”added Maxwell.

He said just one error — his or Faf’s dismissal — had a cascading effect and, sort of, set off a chain of errors.

“Unfortunately what it takes in just one error, I suppose, to sort of bring about other errors as well. I had a lot of matchups in the side, might not have worked out the way we thought it would, but I think ramped the run rate.” The all-rounder said both Dinesh Karthik (28 off 14) and Shahbaz (12 of 10) had played their role well, and that Sri Lankan pacer Matheesha Pathirana’s brilliance stopped them from winning.

“I though DK and Shahbaz batted really well. They got us to a position where even Suyash (Prabhudessai), (Wayne) Parnell and (Wanindu) Hasaranga, I though, (could win the game for RCB). We were still in the game all the way through right till the end.

“I thought Pathirana, he executed absolutely brilliantly, he bowled a couple of really crucial overs. He’s putting a lot of pressure to nail his yorker and he certainly did that under pressure, so hats of to them (CSK).”