MUMBAI: Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming has compared the dew during his team's IPL match against Lucknow Super Giants to the Niagara Falls, justifying their move to make Shivam Dube bowl the match-turning 19th over at the expense of spinners.
With LSG needing 34 from 12 balls, the duo of Man-of-the-Match Evin Lewis and Ayush Badoni smashed Dube for 25 runs, to bring the equation down to nine from the last over at the Brabourne Stadium here.
First-timers LSG then knocked off the required runs to win their first IPL match with three balls to spare on Thursday night.
"If you'd looked earlier on, spinning options were taken out of play because it was like Niagara Falls in terms of the wetness and they (LSG) played well," Fleming said the virtual post-match press conference.
"So it was very hard to, one, grip the ball for a spinner and, two, to be effective. So early on, we were one over short but they played well.
"We always knew we had to pick up an over somewhere -- we were hoping to be able to create enough of a run-rate towards the end that we could squeeze someone in.
" Skipper Ravindra Jadeaj's two overs went for 21 runs while Moeen Ali gave away 14 runs in his one over, forcing CSK to rely on Dube's medium pace bowling.
"Whether that was another spinner, the decision was made in the middle to use Dube, and they counted it well.
"So we always knew that one over was going to be pivotal and I think they did as well, but they played it very well," Fleming added.
After setting a target of 211, CSK failed to get early breakthroughs as the duo of KL Rahul (40) and Quinton de Kock (61) put on 99 runs in 10 overs to lay a strong foundation for LSG.
The head coach reiterated that they had to go on the defensive after the 10th over because of heavy dew.
Fleming, however, praised youngsters Tushar Deshpande and Mukesh Choudhary, the two new-ball bowlers.
"We've got some young guys -- playing Mukesh for the first time, Deshpande has played a little bit before. But I thought it was really honest. It's really tough out there, you can't appreciate how wet that ball is and the outfield is.
"So it's very difficult to get any aggressive play, I think we were bowling defensively from about 10 overs onwards.
I thought they hung in really well, started really well in tough conditions," Fleming, who played for CSK in the inaugural season, said.
The Super Kings were also done in by the unavailability of their three premier bowlers in Deepak Chahar, Chris Jordan and Adam Milne.
"Adam Milne has had some treatment, he's hopefully not too far away. Chris Jordan, also, hopefully not too far away, and of course Deepak Chahar.
"So we are a bit of resource down with our fast bowling, but at some stage, all teams will find they are a little bit skinny in some areas," Fleming said.
He believed that a total of 210 was par for the course but added that fielding second is pretty tough with the conditions heavily favouring the batters.
"We thought it was about par, and that's the nature of the conditions at the moment -- they very much favour the team batting second.
We did well to get to 210, but we were always realistic that it was going to get harder as the night went on.
"So we worked very hard to stay in the game, to be honest. Defensively, I thought we were great.
After about 10 overs, we just knuckled down and I thought we were fantastic to stay in the game.
But it's pretty hard fielding second at the moment," Fleming remarked.