Chennai Super Kings have got their 2020 IPL campaign on a brilliant note courtesy a convincing five-wicket win against defending champions, Mumbai Indians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. In the process, CSK also snapped their 5-match losing streak against the Mumbai Indians besides also condemning the latter to their fifth consecutive defeat in the UAE. And, by doing that MS Dhoni has now become the first captain in the history of the IPL to notch up 100 wins as captain for a single franchise.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) September 19, 2020
Chasing 163 to win, CSK were rocked early in their run-chase when Trent Boult and James Pattinson went bang bang to trap Shane Watson and Murali Vijay LBW.
But, post that Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis took the charge as they took the run-chase by the scruff off its neck. The duo accumulated 115 runs for the 3rd wicket to put CSK in the ascendency. Rayudu smashed a brilliant 48-ball 71 before he was eventually dismissed by Rahul Chahar, who took a brilliant running catch.
Ravindra Jadeja and Sam Curran chipped in brilliant cameos and even as they got dismissed, Faf du Plessis, with MS Dhoni at the other end, ensured he was around till the very end to not only score his 50 but also take his team past the finishing line.
CSK’s Faf du Plessis’s magic proved to be a turning point in the Mumbai Indians innings
Having been asked to bat, Mumbai Indians got off to a flier with skipper Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock taking the attack to Chennai Super Kings fast bowlers in the first four overs. Piyush Chawla got CSK the much-needed wicket of Rohit Sharma and it was followed by Sam Curran getting rid of Quinton de Kock shortly afterward.
Surya Kumar Yadav struggled a bit against the leg-spin of Piyush Chawla, who gave away just 21 runs in his four overs. Saurabh Tiwary, however, ensured that he did not let the momentum of the innings to go down as he smoked a brilliant 31-ball 42.
With Hardik Pandya and Saurabh Tiwary going great guns, Mumbai Indians were looking prime to score in excess of 180 but Faf Du Plessis back-to-back stunners in the 15th over proved to be the turning point in the innings as the defending champions could not really recover from the double-blow, eventually finishing with 9-162 in 20 overs.
Here’s what MS Dhoni had to say in the post-match conference after CSK’s 5-wicket win over MI in IPL 2020 opener-
MS Dhoni went on to laud the duo of Amabti Rayudu and Faf du Plessis for the manner in which they crafted the 115-run stand after CSK had lost two quick wickets in Shane Watson and Murali Vijay Dhoni added that the experience of the duo paid off and it something that youngsters in the side could really learn from. Dhoni also added that there was a bit of due in the second half besides also admitting that there are plenty of areas that the team needs to improve on in the upcoming games.
”It doesn’t feel like a post-match presentation. We may practice enough but when you go on the field you need to assess the conditions and give it your best. It took us time for the bowlers to find the right length on this pitch. Plenty of positives but still plenty of areas for us to improve. In the second half, there is a bit of movement till the dew sets in. If you don’t lose wickets, you have the upper hand. These are the learnings. Rayudu had a wonderful partnership with Faf. Most of us are retired so luckily no injuries as well. The experience pays off, everyone talks about it. You get it only after you play a lot of games. 300 ODIs is a dream for anybody to play and when you put an XI on the field, you need a good mix of youngsters and experienced players. You need the experienced players to guide the youngsters on and off the field. The young players get 60-70 days with the seniors in the IPL,” MS Dhoni was quoted as saying by CricBuzz.
Dhoni also went on to heap high praise on the behind the scene volunteers, who have worked so hard to make IPL 2020 see the light of the day.
”It is an amazing job done by the IPL, especially ones behind the scenes. To make it happen there are a hundred different things; as cricketers we easily criticize stuff. To have the practice facilities like these at the ICC academy were fantastic. Unless you get practice facilities you won’t play well in a tournament like this,” MS Dhoni added.