Dubai: Deadly finisher Mahendra Singh Dhoni pulled off a sensational win for Chennai Super Kings against the Mumbai Indians in a thrilling contest that went to the wire.
Needing 18 runs off the last over, Dhoni’s calculated assault brought the contest to the last ball when Chennai needed four off one ball against Jaydev Unadkat. The former Indian skipper, who has done many a times in the past, once again kept his cool to script an improbable win and inflict more misery on Mumbai Indians, who have suffered their seventh straight loss this season.
The record defeat has virtually knocked five-time champions Mumbai out of the running midway in this competition, the earlier exit for the team blue.
Several catches dropped
Chennai had themselves to blame for making it difficult for themselves. Catches win matches seem to be adage that’s taught to every young player who takes up the sport, but Chennai Super Kings forgot the basics and dropped many easy chances in an error-filled display at the DY Patil Stadium on Thursday.
After having Mumbai on the mat, several dropped catches allowed Mumbai to score a challenging 155/7. However, Dhoni’s unbeaten 28 off 13 balls ensured the defending champions sneak home with three wickets to spare.
Bad day for Jadeja
It was not Chennai skipper Ravindra Jadeja’s day, who could not do much with the ball and bat after dropping two easy catches. Shivam Dube, who also missed a catch off David Miller in the previous game, dropped another sitter.
Batting was always going to be difficult while chasing as one could see the dust coming out from the pitch towards the end of the match. Daniel Sams bowling is the other positive coming from this match for Mumbai, who were absolutely looking clueless at the start after losing two wickets in the first over to Mukesh Chaudhary.
For Mumbai, the cool and composed innings of Tilak Varma and the four-wicket haul by Daniel Sams were the positives coming out of the Match 33 as most of the other Mumbai batters were looking clueless after a disastrous start, losing the precious wickets of skipper Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan in the first over to Mukesh Chaudhary.
The two points will give Chennai plenty of confidence in the back end of the competition.
Classic finish to El Clasico
Dhoni gives Chennai a thrilling win
Deadly finisher Dhoni does it for Chennai. Needing 18 off the last over, the former Indian skip-per produced his vintage best to hit a four off the last ball to give Chennai a thrilling win.
Bumrah’s last over will be the key
After 38 overs, still it is difficult to predict the winner, though it all depends on Bumrah’s over number 19 that could tell the true story, hopefully. Pretorius and Dhoni picked Unadkat to attack and that move yielded results with 14 runs coming of the over. Chennai are 128/6 after 18 overs, needing another 28 off 12 balls.
It is Mumbai’s game to lose now
It’s a match to forget for Chennai skipper Ravindra Jadeja. The men in yellow are making life increasingly difficult for themselves, by playing some bad shots and not rotating the strike. It’s Mumbai’s game to lose now, which they are unlikely to do and score their first win. Chennai need 48 off 24 balls, 12 runs per over with Dhoni and Pretorius at the crease.
Make or break situation for Chennai
Rayudu’s exit after a well-made 40 brings the dashing finisher Mahendra Singh Dhoni to the crease. It’s make or break for Chennai. Another wicket will put immense pressure on the Yellow Lions, but certainly Mumbai players are having the spring in their steps. The last two overs have yielded 15 runs and a wicket for Chennai with the asking rate now going towards 11. A tough task. After 15 overs, Chennai are 103/5.
Clash heading towards another thriller
The Mumbai Indians fans are roaring back on their feet. The El Clasico is increasingly getting closer and the fall of Shivam Dube has once again tilted the balance slightly in favour of Mumbai, in over that started with a six by Rayudu. Skipper Jadeja, who had a miserable day on the field, needs to make amends with the bat, while Rayudu is holding on end up. After 13 overs, Chennai are 88/4, only four runs separating the teams at this stage.
Mumbai slowing things down for Chennai
The runs have dried up and the asking rate is mounting towards 10 an over. It’s almost two overs that the last boundary came for Chennai. However, with Shokeen completing his three overs, Chennai batters should find it easy against the pacers. After 12, Chennai are 79/3, needing another 77 from 48 balls.
Mumbai get the vital breakthrough
Mumbai are sensing blood now. The wicket of Uthappa, who gave catch practice to Brevis who didn’t drop the chance, could not have come at a better time. Thankfully, it would have been two wickets off two balls if Rohit Sharma had hit the stumps from close quarters after Rauydu took off for a non-existent run. After 10 overs, Chennai are 68/3, needing another 88 runs with pressure mounting on the batters. Mumbai were 56/4 at the halfway stage.
Drama happening on the field, but Chennai trotting home
Chennai’s experienced batters Uthappa and Rayudu are showing the temperament that fits their position to play the waiting game. They are not taking any undue risk and are waiting for the loose ball to dispatch it to the fence while rotating the strike with singles. But against the run of play, Uthappa was almost out caught and bowled by Shokeen. However, replay suggested that the bowler had taken it on the half-volley. Uthappa celebrated the reprisal with a six. After 8 overs, Chennai are 57/2. What an eventful over.
Chennai batters are taking calculated risks
Uthappa and Rayudu are dealing in boundaries and sixes. It’s a calculated risk that both the batters are taking with the field restrictions still in play, hitting the ball over the infield. Uthappa is on 12 with two fours while Rauydu on 12 with two sixes. After five overs, Chennai are 38/2.
Batters seem to be in a hurry to finish the contest
Again the batters are at it. When on thought some sense prevailed among the Chennai batters, Santner, who was living dangerously, chanced his arm again only to hit the bouncer to Unadkat at short midwicket. Ambati Rayudu showed his intentions clear by hitting the short ball to a six over fine leg to off the first ball he faced. After 3 overs, Chennai are 22/2, slightly better than Mumbai. Certainly the approach is not right as one cannot be sure with the wicket, which is behaving oddly and Mumbai are looking for the wickets to stay in the game.
Ruturaj goes for first-ball duck
If Chennai got a wicket on the second ball, Mumbai did one better than their opponents. The dependable Ruturaj tapped a short ball straight into the hands of Tilak Varma to be dismissed off the first ball from Sams. Mitchell Santner, who replaced Moeen Ali, came in the England batters No 3 slot and hit two fours. Chennai are 9/1 after the eventful first over.
Standing tall among ruins
Young Tilak Varma gave a lesson on how to bat on a wicket that’s giving a lot of assistance to the bowlers with a patient knock of unbeaten 51 to guide Mumbai Indians to 155/7 at the end of the 20 overs.
The sequence of losses seemed to have taken the thinking cap out of the Mumbai batters, who were completely at sea against a disciplined Chennai attack. Thanks to the several dropped chances, some generous offerings and some close shaves, Mumbai managed to ride the luck to give themselves a chance to win the contest. Jaydev Unadkat once again came good with the bat, scoring 19 not out, including 14 off Dwayne Bravo in the last over.
A loss will almost end the five-time champions run in the league, which will be a record seven on the trot. It seemed like neither team wanted to win this El Clasico, which shows why both teams occupy the bottom of the table. While Mumbai batters played some shots that would make a club cricketer proud, Chennai fielders were even worse. They kept flooring the chances, at least 4 simple offerings, to allow Mumbai to sneak to a challenging total.
If the defending champions fail to chase the total, they need to blame themselves for the lack of commitment. Certainly it’s advantage Mumbai at the end of the innings as still shot-making is not easy and some early wickets will put immense pressure on Chennai batters. Watch out for Jasprit Bumrah, he could be the key for Mumbai.
Brilliant half-century by Tilak Varma
Take a bow. What a knock by the young Tilak Varma, who stood tall among the ruins to score a measured half-century to give his team some chance in the contest. The left-hander has scored 50 off 42 balls to take Mumbai to 139/7 after 19 overs.
Pollard falls into Chennai’s trap
Pollard walks straight into the trap set by Chennai. The West Indian all-rounder hit the ball straight into the hands of Shivam Dube, who was positioned in front of the sightscreen. Dube didn’t have move an inch from his spot after he was positioned just before that delivery. Pollard’s wicket has minimised Mumbai’s chances of a good total by a great length. After 17, Mumbai are 119/6.
Mumbai reach 100-run mark
Mumbai have laboured their way to 100 at the end of the 15th over. With Pollard, who has already hit a big six, around, Mumbai should still fancy their chances of a good total with 30 balls to go. Stage set for the big shots, but Pollard needs to be there till the end
Shokeen’s luck runs out
Robin Uthappa brings the comedy of errors to an end. Shokeen once again tried to ride his luck, this time against Bravo and the resultant skier was taken by the Chennai opener at mid-off. Get ready for the friendly duel between Bravo and Kieron Pollard, Mumbai’s last hope. After 13.3, Mumbai are 85/5.
Dropped catches could cost Chennai dear
Varma and Shokeen have shown that they have a cool head over the shoulders. They have kept the scoring rate going despite losing the experienced batters. But a sudden rush of blood from Shokeen resulted in the ball skied to Jadeja, who floored a simple chance. Mate you have dropped the cup, which Steve Waugh told to Gibbs in the 1999 final at Lord's comes to the memory. While the bowling is spot on, the fielding and catching is not up to the mark for Chennai. After 13, Mumbai are 84/4.
Rookies hold the key for Mumbai
The wicket is turning and if Mumbai batters could score another 80 or 90 runs in 60 balls, which will take their score closer to 150 and give them a total to fight. It remains to be seen if the two rookies, Tilak Varma and Hrithik Shokeen, will have the mental strength and ability to take it forward and then allow Pollard to play his big shots. Mumbai are 56/4 at halfway stage.
SKY falls for lacklustre Mumbai
Mumbai batters are making it a habit to concede the initiative time and again. This time the experienced SKY played a sweep from off stump off Santner to hit it straight to Mukesh Chaudhary to end the 24-run partnership. Looks like one can’t Chaudhary quiet today. He is now involved in all four wickets. After 8 overs, Mumbai are 49/4 with Suryakumar scoring 32.
Mumbai make slow progress
Chennai have kept the Mumbai batters quiet, despite a six by Suryakumar off Theekshana. The poweplay is done and some sense is prevailing in Tilak and SKY who are not taking undue risks as the wicket is now showing its true colours, spin and bounce. After 7 overs, Mumbai are 46/3.
Mumbai chances go abegging, need to capitalise
Things could have been worst had Dwayne Bravo taken the edge off Tilak Varma, a straight forward chance chest high. But the resultant four should have given the left-hander some confidence and need to take the reprieve in both hands to guide his team to safety. Mumbai have survived three close chances. After 4 overs, 31/3.
Third wicket for Chaudhary
Mumbai batters are absolutely clueless and playing without a plan on a wicket that’s not easy to play one’s shot straight away. It’s a powerplay agreed, but now Mumbai have lost their third wicket, Brevis caught behind by Dhoni to give Chaudhary his third wicket in his second over. Now, the men in Blue are deep in trouble and it’s important they change their approach and play like a 50-over game for the next five or six overs. After 3 overs, Mumbai are 23/3.
Chaudhary deals a twin blow to Mumbai
Mumbai’s two key batters, Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan, have departed in the first over with 6 runs on board. Not the start the five-time champions wanted. A brilliant Yorker from Choudhary knocks Kishan’s off stump. It could have been worse as a Santner delivery narrowly missed the stumps and a stumping chance. Suryakumar survived. After two overs, Mumbai after 2 overs are 14/2.
Disastrous start for Mumbai
Mumbai fans have gone quiet. A disastrous start for the MIPaltans when skipper Rohit Sharma checked his shot, playing away from his body, on a wicket that is holding slightly and gave a simple catch to Santner at mid-on off Chaudhary. The centre wicket, where there is no bigger or small areas, wears a dry look and should be a test for the batters. Mumbai were desperately looking for a good start now all will depend on Kishan and the in-form Brevis.
Jadeja wins toss and elects to bowl first
CSK skipper Ravindra Jadeja wins toss and elects to bowl first. Chennai make two changes for the Mumbai clash, Dwaine Pretorius and Mitch Santner replace Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan. Mumbai, who have to win the clash, make three changes - Riley Meredith, Hrithik Shokeen and Daniel Sams are in.
Battle for bragging rights
The clash between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians is generally a classic in the Indian Premier League, on par with a Manchester Derby or an El Clasico or may be even higher. But today’s game between the two giants who have nine titles between them in the last 14 seasons lack any of the sparkle that would be generally associated the meeting.
In the past, Chennai and Mumbai would be occupying some of the top spots and a victory for one team over the other would act as a fillip in their title push. But in Season 15, where the addition of two more teams and the new auction have left these two IPL heavyweights at the bottom of the table and now they are playing for pride at the DY Patil Stadium on Thursday (today).
Mumbai blues continues
Still, Chennai and Mumbai probably have one of the largest fan base due to their popularity and the supremacy over the years and both teams will be eager to retain the bragging rights over the other. But sadly, the Mumbai blues are extending this year too after failing to make the playoffs in UAE last year.
Six losses from as many games have left the Mumbai team management desperately in search of a win and unfortunately the several combinations that they have tried out have not yielded the desired results. The biggest issue is the over-reliance on skipper Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan in batting, which would give them a good start, and Jasprit Bumrah in bowling. The trio have come good in patches, but was not enough to sustain it for a longer period of time and take them in the victory path.
Gaikwad's form a pleasing news
It’s here the defending champions, under new skipper Ravindra Jadeja, have an edge after getting their combination right and have only suffered narrow loses, including the one against Gujarat Titans, after the IPL debutants were down and out at one stage before David Miller played a blinder to give an improbable win.
The absence of Deepak Chahar has certainly hampered the Yellow Lions, but one additional comfort for Jadeja is the return of form for Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was the top-scorer of the last season. Jadeja’s bowling form is the only minor worry, but with the wickets getting more weary, the left-arm spinner should comeback to his best.
Today, Super Kings start as the favourites to keep their slender hopes alive, while a loss means Mumbai are out of the tournament, which has never happened so early in the past.