Dubai: On a pitch that was gripping and turning, Mumbai Indians restricted Chennai Super Kings to 131 for 4 in 20 overs and pulled off an impressive six-wicket victory in the first qualifier at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai to book their place in the final of the Indian Premier League on Sunday in Hyderabad.
Chennai won the toss, they also made a turning wicket for their top class spinners in their team, but it was Mumbai that walked away the winner.
Suryakumar Yadav upset Chennai’s plans through an elegant unbeaten knock of 71 off 54 balls with ten boundaries. He put on an 80 runs partnership in the 10.3 over with Ishan Kishan (28) to take the match away from Chennai.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu through a 66 runs partnership in the last 7.5 overs had lifted Chennai from 65 for 4 in 12.1 overs to a challenging total. Rayudu hit an unbeaten 42 off 37 balls with three boundaries and one six while Dhoni remained unconquered on a timely 37 off 29 balls with three sixes.
Leg spinner Rahul Chahar bowled brilliantly and took 2 for 14 from his four overs well backed by all the other bowlers.
Chasing the total, Mumbai lost an early wicket when skipper Rohit Sharma fell leg before to the second ball of the first over after scoring a boundary off the first ball from Deepak Chahar.
Yadav joined opener Quinton de Kock but they could add only 17 runs together before Harbhajan Singh had De Kock hit to Faf Du Plessis at long off for 8.
Left-handed Kishan joined Yadav, who hit two boundaries off Chahar, the second boundary being a lucky one as Vijay could not get hold of it. Kishan swept Harbhajan for a six. Mumbai went past the 50 run mark in 7.2 overs.
Chennai introduced their strike bowler and leg spinner Imran Tahir in the ninth over. At the half-way mark Mumbai were 69 for 2 needing another 63 more runs from the next ten.
In the 11th over, Yadav hit Tahir for two consecutive boundaries and brought in his 50 runs partnership with Kishan. Yadav reached his half century in 37 balls but Kishan got bowled by Tahir for 28. Krunal got caught and bowled to the next ball.
At this stage, Watson at first slip dropped Yadav on 53 at slip off Ravindra Jadeja.
Yadav and Hardik Pandya (13n.o) took Mumbai safely to the target adding 31 runs in the next 4.3 overs .
Earlier, Mumbai pacer Lasith Malinga began by bowling a brilliant first over giving away just one run to opener Faf du Plessis. The first boundary of the day came from Du Plessis who sliced Krunal Pandya over a leaping Jasprith Bumrah to third man. Leg spinner Rahul Chahar, who bowled the third over struck with his first ball to have Du Plessis cut to substitute Anmolpreet Singh at point for 6.
Next man Suresh Raina lasted only seven balls to score five runs before off spinner Jayant Yadav had him caught and bowled. Murali Vijay joined opener Shane Watson. Bumrah who bowled the fifth over was elegantly galnced by Watson to the long leg boundary. Watson also pulled Bumrah’s last delivery for another boundary.
Krunal was re-introduced for the sixth over and Vijay took two boundaries off him but off the last ball he picked the prize wicket of Watson. Going for a pull shot, Watson mistimed it and got caught by Yadav at mid-on for 10. Ambat Rayudu walked in with score reading 32 for 3 by the end of the sixth over.
Hardik Pandya who was introduced for the eight over gave only five runs while the ninth over bowled by Krunal yielded just two runs. At the half way stage Chennai were 50 for 3. When Bumrah bowled another tight 12th over giving away just four runs, hope of a big total began to fade.
With the first ball of the 13th over, Chahar had Vijay stumped by wicketkeeper Quinton De Kock for a run-a-ball 26 runs. Vijay and Rayudu had put on 33 runs in 6.1 overs for the fourth wicket. Mahendra Singh Dhoni walked in cheered all the way with his team score on 65 for 4. He hit the first six of the match by lifting Yadav over long-on in the 13th over. Rayudu too hit the last ball of that over for another sixer through mid-wicket.
The run rate began to pick up slowly. At the 15th over, Chennai were 91 for 4 still wanting some big heads. Chahar bowled a brilliant 17th over giving away just three runs. Chennai went past the 100 run mark in 17.1 over through a cracking pulling shot by Rayudu to boundary off Bumrah.
With only two overs to go and 107 for 4, Mumbai skipper introduced Malinga for the 19th over. Dhoni hit Malinga for two consecutive sixes, first over mid-wicket and another over long-on to get 15 runs off the over. Bumrah, who bowled the last over had Dhoni caught at point off a no ball, but gave away only nine runs in the last over.
Mumbai Indians bt Chennai Super Kings by six wickets. Chennai Super Kings 131 for 4 in 20 overs (Murali Vijay 26, Ambati Rayudu 42n.o, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 37n.o, Rahul Chahar 2 for 14) Mumbai Indians 132 for 4 in 18.3 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 71n.o, Ishan Kishan 28, Imran Tahir 2 for 33)