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IPL desk in Mumbai 04 April 2012 - 11:49pm IST

Report: Match 1 – Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians

Debutant Levi powers MI to eight-wicket win over CSK in IPL opener

 Mumbai Indians opened their IPL 2012 campaign in style, easing their way to an eight-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings in their den. Chasing merely 113 runs, MI made light work of the target with IPL debutant Richard Levi scoring a quick fire half-century to help the visitors topple the reigning champions.

MI began their chase in typically aggressive fashion. Openers Sachin Tendulkar and Richard Levi went about their job with relative ease as the Super Kings succumbed to the duo’s aggression. The South African was particularly brutal on the CSK bowlers with his intent and attacking instincts shining through at every opportunity. Ravindra Jadeja’s first over in CSK’s colours went for 16 as the 24-year-old Protea took a liking to his left-arm spin.

Tendulkar on the other hand looked content at stroking the ball around; interrupted only by a sublime six over long on. MI’s intent was further emphasised when Levi brought up his first half-century in IPL after smacking Bravo over the ropes. Bravo got his own back the very next ball as Levi [50] holed out at long-on with MI at 69/1.

The Super Kings struck again; this time Doug Bollinger induced an inside edge from Rohit Sharma’s bat. MI were struck another critical blow with Tendulkar [16*] having to retire hurt after being hit on the glove by a Bollinger delivery. But any thoughts of a comeback were quickly kept on ice by Ambati Rayudu [18*] and James Franklin’s [25*] 43-run partnership.

After electing to bowl first, MI quickly got into the groove thanks to some inspired fielding from Ambati Rayudu. The 26-year-old’s brilliant direct-hit from the cover region had opener Faf du Plessis [3] stretching in vain for the crease.

With Murali Vijay struggling to find form, Suresh Raina decided to break the shackles by smashing Abu Nechim for a six. The fireworks were short-lived, as Vijay [10] was put out of his misery after he mistimed a James Franklin delivery. Raina did his bit to keep the scoreboard ticking with Dwayne Bravo providing modest support.

Scoring quick was proving to be difficult on the MA Chidambaram track and CSK’s incessant thirst for runs led to Raina’s [36] demise. Pragyan Ojha got the better of the Super Kings southpaw to notch his first wicket for MI. Bravo [19] was the next to go as Ojha deceived the Windies batsman to reduce CSK to 80/4.

MI were in total control of the game with newly-appointed skipper, Harbhajan Singh ringing in the changes to great effect. It wasn’t the ideal start for the Super Kings and it got worse with Albie Morkel [3], MS Dhoni [4], Subramaniam Badrinath [10], Ravichandran Ashwin [3], Ravindra Jadeja [3] and Doug Bollinger [3] all perishing in quick succession to put the home side in deeper trouble. The Super Kings ended up with a paltry 112 as the visitors dominated from start to finish.

Scorecard

Man-of-the-match:
On account of his brilliant batting performance, MI opener Richard Levi was adjudged Man of the Match in this contest.

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