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Mumbai Indians managed to score their first points of the season with a nine-run win over Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium late on Saturday night. After an early collapse, Kieron Pollard helped revive the MI innings to post a competitive 148 which the bowlers defended in fighting fashion against a resurgent CSK side.
Chasing a modest 149, CSK lost Murali Vijay (5) as Munaf Patel struck timber in his first over. Mitchell Johnson got MI their second success sending back Suresh Raina caught by Ricky Ponting. Michael Hussey (20) lived a charmed life after being dropped when on 1 and 9, but was finally castled by Harbhajan Singh.
At the halfway stage, CSK still required 91 runs from 60 balls and were struggling to find any sort of rhythm. Pragyan Ojha struck twice dismissing Dwayne Bravo (10) and S Badrinath (16) putting CSK on the mat.
Ravindra Jadeja (16) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2) fell in the pursuit of quick runs needing a miracle from Dhoni (51). He almost did just that, hitting 15 runs of Pollard's 17th over to help his team inch closer to the target. However, needing 12 off the final over, the first delivery saw Dhoni attempting to hit one over the midwicket boundary, but Kieron Pollard leapt in the air and plucked off a stunning catch. CSK eventually fell nine runs short of the target.
Earlier in the evening, the Mumbai Indians won the toss and opted to bat first. The move backfired as Dirk Nannes trapped Sachin Tendulkar for a duck in the very first over. IPL debutant, Ankit Rajpoot then had Ponting (6) caught at slip attempting a pull leaving the visitors at 18 for 2 in 3.2 overs. Dinesh Karthik (37) and Rohit Sharma (8) were both given an early reprieve, but Sharma failed to capitalizs on it and fell nicking Bravo to the wicket-keeper. Bravo struck again removing Karthik leg before in his next over, leaving MI stuttering at 59 for 4.
The slide continued as Ben Laughin then had Ambati Rayudu (7) caught at third man. Dwayne Smith joined the procession as he holed out off Ashwin. Pollard (57*) was the savior for MI playing a brutal innings smashing five huge sixes. Along with Harbhajan Singh (21*), Pollard helped MI put on a decent total on the board with a late flourish. Pollard ended MI's innings with a six to finish at 148 for 6 from their 20 overs.
Man-of-the-Match: Kieron Pollard
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 148-6 in 20.0 Overs (Kieron Pollard 57*, Dwayne Bravo 2-44) beat Chennai Super Kings 139-9 in 20.0 Overs (MS Dhoni 51, Munaf Patel 3-29) by 9 runs.
Rajasthan Royals, playing their first match in Pepsi IPL 2013, held their nerves to post a 5-run win over the home side, Delhi Daredevils. Dravid led from the front, scoring 65 runs to enable RR post a healthy 165, before some heroics from the Royals bowling at the death caught DD short. David Warner's calm innings of 77 went in vain for Delhi.
Chasing 166, Unmukt Chand (19) got DD off to a brisk start before Sreesanth made a mess of his stumps. Warner, who had dropped Rahul Dravid on 43 earlier, was returned the favor as the RR captain put him down on 2. Warner and Mahela Jayawardene (19) approached the chase cautiously putting together 43 runs before Ajinkya Rahane pulled off a blinder at point to send back the Daredevils captain.
Warner then found a suitable ally in Manprit Juneja (20) and the duo immediately lifted the run rate, taking the team to the threshold of victory. But the wickets of Juneja and Warner, run out in penultimate over, brought RR back in the match. Kevon Cooper bowled an accurate last over to take his team to victory.
Earlier RR won the toss and elected to bat. Kushal Perera (14) making his IPL debut got going with a boundary. He was given a reprieve on 5, but two boundaries later, he fell to Umesh Yadav. Dravid and Rahane (28) steadied the ship and laid the foundation adding 65 runs for the second wicket. The partnership was broken by Shahbaz Nadeem when he accepted a simple return catch from Rahane.
DD fielding was unusually substandard and Dravid made the most of it going onto score a brilliant 65. Stuart Binny played an aggressive cameo scoring 40 runs of just 20 balls. He dismissed Botha's first three balls for 14 runs before depositing Ashish Nehra for a six and a four. The next over Yadav sent him back, before he wrecked more havoc and in his final over he struck twice sending back Dravid and Hodge (5). With a flurry of wickets falling at the end, RR finished at 165 runs for 7 from their 20 overs.
Man-of-the-Match: Rahul Dravid
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 165-7 (Rahul Dravid 65, Stuart Binny 40, Umesh Yadav 4-24) beat Delhi Daredevils 160-6 (David Warner 77, Kevon Cooper 3-30) by 5 runs.