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Mumbai, after early jitters, recovered in time to cruise past a meagre target to score a five-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings and end the defending champions slim hopes of making the play-offs in the Indian Premier League 2022 at Wankhede Stadium on Monday. The main architect for Mumbai is the young Tilak Varma, who showed plenty of maturity beyond his age.

Mumbai Indians produced a clinical display after electing to bowl by dismissing Super Kings to a paltry 97 in 16 overs, but the five-time champions were adept to the task while they began their chase and paid the penalty for their indiscretion.

Ishan Kishan was ill at ease in the first over and started taking his chances only to become the first wicket. That early success spurred the Chennai pacers to go broke and posed probing questions to the technical capabilities of the Mumbai batters.

Sadly, they got exposed and fell to disciplined pace of Mukesh Choudhary, who claimed three wickets, and Simarjeet Singh. Mumbai lost four wickets inside the powerplay overs. However, once the eight-over spell of the two pacers ended, things started looking better for Tilak Varma and Hrithik Shokeen put their heads down and added invaluable 47-run partnership before Shokeen lost his cool and was bowled by Moeen Ali.

But the young Tillak Varma, who also came at No 4 like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, took the cue from the former Indian captain and played a calm and composed knock to remain unbeaten on 34. Tim David used the big shots to seal the win in 14.5 overs.

If several veteran Chennai batters like Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu and the young Shivam Dube applied themselves and helped their score 130-plus score, they could have still ended up on the winning note. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 36 when Chennai innings ended at 97 with four overs to spare.

Daniel Sams had a mixed day with three early wickets that broke the backbone of the Chennai batting, but failed in his batting. The win should bring smiles back on MIPaltans’ face, especially coming against the arch rivals in the El Clasico.

How it happened

Ali breaks the partnership, but too late

A rush of blood against the wily Moeen Ali brings a good partnership to an end when just 17 runs were needed with almost seven overs to spare. Shokeen steps out to swing the off-spinner to long on, only to miss the line and bowled for 18. But no sweat for Mumbai, Varma will take them home. After 13 overs, Mumbai are 83/5, needing another 15 off 42 balls.

Varma, Shokeen steady the ship

Mumbai are closing in on the target with two good overs. The youngsters, Tillak Varma and Shokeen, are building a good partnership and have taken the MIPaltans to 66/4 at halfway stage. Another 32 runs needed for a good win.

Tillak Varma holds the key to the chase

Young Tillak Varma is showing that he has a cool head over his shoulders, the left-hander is applying himself well to the task and not taking any undue risk. With both pacers bowling their full quota of four overs each, one hopes the Mumbai batters could breathe a bit easy. After 8 overs, Mumbai are 46/4.

Choudhary strikes twice as pacers having fun

Mukesh Choudhary strikes twin blows and now Mumbai in deep trouble. Debutant Stubbs came with a huge reputation, but his innings was stubbed in the second ball, the prolific South African almost was out first ball, when the left-arm pacer trapped him in front. This is almost an action replay that happened two balls earlier when Sams was dismissed in the same fashion. Tilak Varma, who came in at No 4, needs to play a Dhoni-like innings. With two slips, gully, leg slip, is it a Twenty20 or a Test match? Pacers are having fun. After 6, Mumbai are 36/4.

Rohit falls again as Mumbai’s chase wobbles

There are no demons on wicket, but still why wickets are falling so easily. Plain and simple, lack of technique. The Twenty20 batters know only one way to play, attack. So when the ball is doing a bit, when the pace bowlers are asking questions, they don’t seem to have an answer. Rohit might have hit four fours but excepting one straight drive, his shots lacked the conviction and clearly shows that he is way off his best. After 4 overs, Mumbai are 32/2.

Kishan fails again as Rohit takes his chances

Rohit Sharma has decided to go for broke. The Mumbai skipper is taking his chances and playing freely to break the shackles of Chennai, but that’s a dangerous move especially after losing Ishan Kishan. For Kishan nothing matters other than throwing his bat around. He seemed to playing with himself and getting out on his own. When a good start is required to chase a paltry score, the left-hander tried go for a wild swing outside the off stump to be caught behind. After three overs, Mumbai are 21/1.

Mumbai Indians finally played like the champion side they were, especially at home, as they roared back in their den by dismissing Chennai Super Kings to *** in ** overs at Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.

Chennai capitulation could be attributed to many reasons but predominantly to lack of the application that was the characteristic of their game so far this season, especially in the last few games after Mahendra Singh Dhoni regained the captaincy midway through the season.

Bad start

Left-arm pacer Daniel Sams vindicated his captain Rohit Sharma’s decision to bowl first, after winning the toss on a wicket that had a good amount of grass. There was plenty of drama, comedy and tragedy, in the first over that set the tone for the game.

A horrendous decision ended Devon Conway’s stay, and a power failure meant that there was no DRS available for the first two overs, during which two leg before wickets and a poor shot selection from Moeen Ali left Chennai with a mountain to climb.

No application

What followed was even pathetic as experienced Ambati Rayudu and rookie Shivam Dube did not apply themselves at a time when a simple common-sense cricketing approach would have saved the team.

Dhoni, who promoted himself up to No 4, watched the wickets fall from the other end without any hope. The former skipper remained unbeaten on 36 after waging the lone battle that made fans forget the disastrous performance of the men in yellow, keeping them in high spirits. It’s Chennai’s second lowest score, the previous one 79 against Mumbai in 2013.

Mumbai can’t lose from here and it remains to be seen how many overs they take to canter home, unless they have other ideas and play the way they did against KKR in their previous game.

Mumbai continue to stranglehold Chennai

Just when Chennai looked like settling things down, two wickets of Bravo and Simarjeet pushed the men in yellow on the verge of getting all out under 100 runs. A brilliant catch by Tillak Varma ended the West Indian all-rounder’s stay, who was showing glimpses of his capabilities. After 13, CSK are 80/8. A brilliant show by the beleaguered Mumbai Indians, who didn’t put a foot wrong and excelled in all three facets of the game.

Chennai batters lack the necessary application

Chennai Super Kings are standing on their last leg, literally after losing six wickets within the first eight overs. There are no demons on the wicket, but there is no direction to the team. When the team in deep trouble, some of the shots played by the batters would do a novice proud. Strangely the application was lacking when Dube tried to play the ball over the wicketkeeper and the faint edge was taken by Kishan gleefully, that comes after scoring a boundary. After 10 overs, Chennai are 65/6 with Dhoni and Bravo, the last recognised pair, holding fort. As long as Dhoni is at the crease, the fans are happy.

Chennai lose five wickets in powerplay

Gaikwad becomes third wicket for Sams to leave Super Kings perilously perilously placed. The Chennai opener hung his bat out on the leg side only to be caught behind for 7. Rayudu also follows in the next over. With half the side back in the pavilion during the powerplay, skipper Dhoni, who has promoted himself up the order, has to wage the battle with Dube. Can Dhoni repeat the World Cup 2011 final performance at the same venue? After 6 overs, Chennai are 32/5.

Mayhem continues amid DRS technical issue

Two overs of absolute madness. A power failure meant there was no DRS for the first two overs, when Chennai lost three wickets, two of them leg before. Both the batters wanted to review as they felt it was not the right decision, but they could not. Now with the power restored, the DRS is available and the rest of the batters. Real injustice for them and one could only feel for Conway and Uthappa. After 3 overs, Chennai are 6/3.

Horrific umpiring decision and two wickets in one over

A disastrous start for Chennai after a horrendous umpiring decision ended the purple patch of Devon Conway. Without the DRS, the umpire gave the New Zealand left-hander leg-before when both the stumps were visible to the eye. Now the sad truth is, what will be the umpiring standards without the review is anybody’s guess. Moeen Ali again fell to a short ball from Sams, trying to pull from outside the off stump. After one over, Chennai are 4/2.

Good firm pitch welcomes both teams

A good firm pitch welcomes both teams and the generous grass should give early assistance to the Mumbai bowlers. As usual, Chennai openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway will not hurry for a brisk start and will play the ball on merit. It’s just a moment away from the umpires calling, PLAY.

Birthday boy Pollard dropped for Chennai clash

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to field against Chennai. Mumbai have made two changes, dropped birthday boy Kieron Pollard and Murugan Ashwin and brought in Tristan Stubbs and Hrithik Shokeen as their replacements. Chennai have retained the same squad that beat Delhi Capitals.

Too many sub-plots in El Clasico

Dubai: The clash between the former champions, Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, still evokes plenty of fervour among their ardent fans, despite both teams staying at the bottom of the Indian Premier League 2022.

There are many subplots in the El Clasico where Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men hold a slight advantage over the five-time champions when they meet in Match 59 at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday. Chennai, who have a faint hopes of making to the play-offs, wear a formidable look after a couple of convincing wins and have a settled line-up after Dhoni returned to the helm midway through Season 15, while Mumbai woes still continue.

Bruised rib

Chennai’s ambitions suffered a big setback on the eve of the crucial game, when deposed skipper Ravindra Jadeja was ruled out of the entire season with a rib injury suffered against Delhi Capitals, bringing an end to his disappointing campaign. However, speculation is rife on the rumours of a rift between Chennai and the all-rounder, who has been part of the franchise for the last 10 years.

“Ravindra Jadeja reported a bruised rib and was unavailable for Chennai Super Kings’ game against Delhi Capitals on Sunday,” the defending champions said in a statement. “He was under observation and based on medical advice he has been ruled out for the rest of the IPL season.”

But several fans were quick to note the turn of events preceding the announcement when Chennai unfollowed Jadeja on their Instagram account. Even wishing the all-rounder a speedy recovery on their official Twitter handle failed to end the speculation.

Flourishing opening partnership

“Jadeja will be missing the rest of the IPL due to injury. Wishing our Jaadugar a speedy recovery! @imjadeja”, the Super Kings tweeted in an official statement on Wednesday.

Jadeja’s absence towards the business end of the tournament will certainly affect the four-time champions’ chances with the pitches now taking more turn and bounce after constant use for the last 45-plus days. Chennai can take solace from the fact that their opening partnership, a major strength in their previous campaigns, has started flourishing between Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway, which gives them the platform to launch the assault later in the innings.

Time to look beyond Pollard

For Mumbai, the problems are plenty. The form of Rohit Sharma and even worse that of Kieron Pollard has ensured that MIPaltans neither didn’t get a good start nor the right finish while batting. The shortcomings grows giant size while chasing even a par score. It’s time Mumbai rest the former West Indian captain and bring back Dewald Brevis, who showed plenty of promise in the games he played. At least, it will give the young South African some game-time that will hold him in good stead for the next season.

The only good news for Mumbai is the striking form of ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah, but the former No 1 bowler is flying solo as the other bowlers are not creating enough pressure for him to get into his wicket-taking act.

The complete surrender at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders is a proof that Mumbai have completely lost their way and would do well to look at strengthening their side for the next season.