The eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been quite dramatic. We have witnessed some enthralling matches. After a drought of victory for Mumbai Indians (MI), they eventually registered a rather comfortable victory, in the end by eight wickets over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Pune on Saturday night.
The Chennai bowlers took the match down to the wire. However, with wickets in hand, it was always going to be a matter of few blows for the Indians. Rohit Sharma played a captain’s knock and remained unbeaten on 56 of just 33 deliveries.
Earlier in the day, it was a brilliant innings from the blade of Suresh Raina which took Chennai to a respectable total of 169 runs in their allotted 20 overs.
Super Kings were well set for a score of around 190. However, the Mumbai bowlers made a terrific comeback and restricted them to just 169. Krunal Pandya and Mitchell McClenaghan were pick of the bowlers for Mumbai with a couple of wickets each.
The three-time IPL champions Indians finally returned to winning ways after registering an eight-wicket victory with a couple of deliveries to spare.
It was a much-needed victory for Mumbai, who is still languishing at the bottom of the IPL points table.
However, following this victory Mumbai will take confidence into the rest of the tournament. It might well be signs of a turnaround.
The Mumbai bowlers were up to the mark in the death overs and restricted the CSK batsmen.
Suryakumar Yadav got them off to a solid start. Evin Lewis and Rohit Sharma then ensured Mumbai reached the target in 19.4 overs. Despite Lewis’ dismissal, Hardik Pandya a handy knock and stayed with the skipper till the end.
It was Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit, who won the toss and following the trend put the hosts in.
Super Kings began steadily with Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson striking some delightful shots. Rayudu started off from where he left the other day.
It was left-arm spinner Krunal, who bagged the maiden breakthrough in the form of Shane Watson. It was a much-needed wicket especially given the fact that Watson was in good form.
In the very next delivery after Watson’s wicket, Rayudu played an amazing shot. He came dancing down the track and whipped the delivery straight over the boundary ropes.
Raina joined Rayudu in the middle. Raina struck a gigantic six of that same over of Krunal to get off to a brisk start.
Rayudu, on the other hand, continued his exceptional form and found the gaps on a consistent basis. His innings of 46 came in just 35 deliveries which were studded with a couple fours and four sixes.
Raina was also looking in sublime touch and the duo took the total near the 100 mark. It was again Krunal, who provided the all-important breakthrough in the form of Rayudu. He attempted a big shot but ended up giving a straightforward catch to the long on fielder.
Despite the wicket, Raina didn’t get bogged down. He was joined by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as CSK was coasting towards a big total.
Dhoni carried on from where he left the other and smashed three fours and a six during his 26 off 21 deliveries. He shared a 46 runs partnership with Raina before Mitchell McClenaghan brought about his downfall.
The left-arm pacer added one more in the form of Dwayne Bravo in the very first delivery he faced. Raina kept on playing the big shots. However, the Indians bowlers were quite superb in the death overs.
There was a situation when Chennai looked well in pursuit of a total of at least 190.
However, Mumbai bowlers were up to the mark in the final over which restricted them to 169 in their allotted 20 overs. McClenaghan and Krunal returned with a couple of wickets as Chennai was restricted to a manageable score.
Mumbai had to get off to a steady start which has been missing in the tournament so far. Suryakumar Yadav carried on a rich vein of form in the tournament so far and began with some exquisite drives and punches of Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur.
It was superb batting by Suryakumar. However his partner Evin Lewis was bogged down in the initial stages and was unable to find the gaps or hit the big shots.
Lewis got going in one of the Imran Tahir over where he struck a four and a six. Meanwhile, Suryakumar Yadav was dismissed by Harbhajan Singh. It was a terrific catch by Ravindra Jadeja in the end which brought about Surya’s downfall.
After a 69 runs partnership between the openers, there was yet another solid partnership of 59 runs between skipper Rohit and Lewis.
Rohit was at his imperious best and eventually proved to be the match winner in the end.
The Chennai bowlers were brilliant from 14 to the 16th over and made it difficult for Indians. Rohit batted brilliantly and turned the complexion of the match. He scored a match-winning 56 off just 33 balls which proved to be the difference between the two teams. He struck four boundaries of Thakur in the penultimate delivery to bring the calculation down to five of the final over.
They completed the job with ease in the end as Hardik Pandya struck a boundary to seal the deal for Mumbai.
Chennai Super Kings 169/5 in 20 overs (Suresh Raina 75, Ambati Rayudu 46, Mitchell McClenaghan 2/26, Krunal Pandya 2/32)
Mumbai Indians 170/4 in 19.4 overs (Rohit Sharma 56*, Suryakumar Yadav 46, Harbhajan Singh 1/20)
Mumbai Indians won by 8 wickets (with a couple of deliveries to spare)