Kieron Pollard’s 87 off 34 balls took Mumbai Indians home against the Chennai Super Kings at the Arun Jaitely Stadium in Delhi to record the second-highest run-chase in IPL history, chasing down 219. Faf Du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu slammed whirlwind half-centuries, dismantling the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult, leaving them clueless. MS Dhoni bemoaned their execution and dropped catches; however, remained optimistic about the season ahead.
Though Trent Boult struck in his first over, Faf Du Plessis and Moeen Ali set the Mumbai Indians back with their clean strikes frequently. Ali and Du Plessis added 108 for the second wicket from 61 balls before Ali fell for 58. Du Plessis also departed after reaching his fifty, with Suresh Raina following him for a single-figure score. Though Ravindra Jadeja and Ambati Rayudu started slowly, they motored along exceptionally well later. Rayudu raised a 20-ball half-century as Chennai Super Kings mustered 94 runs in the last five overs.
Rohit Sharma and Quinton De Kock laid the path with a 71-run opening stand before the former, Suryakumar Yadav, and De Kock fell in successive overs. Along with Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard brought the defending champions back in the game, as the latter scored a half-century in 17 balls, hitting a flurry of sixes. Krunal Pandya departed for 32 off 23 balls, thanks to Sam Curran’s outstanding yorker in the 17th over. Curran also ended Hardik Pandya’s cameo of 16 from seven deliveries and dismissed James Neesham for a golden duck. Nevertheless, Lungi Ngidi could not prevent Pollard from scoring 16 in the last over, which Pollard completed in the final delivery.
It doesn’t hurt much when you’re on the top of the table: MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni conceded that the wicket was brilliant and lamented the dropped catches at crucial junctures. The 39-year old was not bothered too much about the loss though since they are still at the top of the table, yet, MS Dhoni was unhappy about the execution. The keeper-batsman remains confident that his side will bounce back from the loss and they believe in taking one game at a time. He feels that focusing one match at a time, the points table would take care of itself.
“I think it was a brilliant wicket and I feel the difference between the two sides was the execution – how off we were. Without being too tough for the bowlers, catches do help. I felt we dropped catches at the crucial point. It doesn’t hurt much when you’re on the top of the table. If you look at how it really went, we were very off-target and against good batters who hit hard, it’s important to execute the plans. Even if you don’t get hit for one or two sixes, in the 20th over that can win you the game. It hurts but the spirits will be up. When you’re under the pump, you learn more. Irrespective of where we are on the points table, we look at one game at a time. Ultimately, if you do that, the points table will take care of itself,” MS Dhoni told in the post-match presentation.