A sublime performance from all departments saw the Chennai Super Kings register a massive seven-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians. As a result of this win, CSK will now face Kings XI Punjab in Qualifier two – scheduled for 8 pm on May 30, 2014 at Wankhede Stadium. Meanwhile, this loss spells the end of the road in IPL 2014 for defending champions MI.
Powerplay: Openers shine despite slow start
After MS Dhoni asked MI to bat first upon winning the toss, Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey opened the innings at Brabourne Stadium. The duo started out cautiously, scoring a total of 23 runs in the initial four overs. However, both MI openers opened their shoulders thereafter, plundering 15 and 19 runs off the fifth and sixth overs respectively.
As a result, MI posted 53 for no loss in the powerplay despite a slow start. Middle Overs: Simmons shines even as MI lose two key wickets
With the field spread out, Dhoni introduced spin in the seventh over in order to stem the flow of runs. R Ashwin conceded just four runs off that over, followed by a six-run over by Ravindra Jadeja. And while the next two overs yielded a combined 19 runs, it also cost MI the wicket of Michael Hussey (39) – who as cleaned up Jadeja. At the halfway stage, the scorecard read 82 for one.
And while Corey Anderson (20) struck two maximums, he perished in the 13th over while going for his third big hit – off the bowling of Ashwin – leaving MI on 99 for two. But Simmons struck a six off the very next delivery to take MI past the 100-run mark. The West Indian opener then brought up his half-century with a strike to the boundary in the 14th over. And by the end of the 15th over, thanks largely to Simmons, MI were on 127 for two, scoring 75 runs during the crucial nine-over period.
Final Stretch: CSK pull back MI with timely strikes
With Simmons and Rohit Sharma in the middle, and a great platform to launch off, a big score appeared to be on the cards for MI. The 16th over went for 13 runs, but the next over – bowled by Jadeja – saw the end of Simmons (67), as he holed out at the long-on fence. With the scorecard reading 143 for three, Kieron Pollard came in to bat with his skipper. But the two had only added seven runs, when Rohit was dismissed by Mohit Sharma.
MI were on 153 for four with 12 balls left in their innings, and they had the right pair – Pollard and Ambati Rayudu – to take advantage of this situation. However, after picking a four and boundary off Ashish Nehra, Pollard (14) perished while going for another maximum later in the 19th over. Nehra then dismissed Aditya Tare (0) to finish off his four-over quota. And CSK then got another vital breakthrough – courtesy Mohit – as Rayudu (2) holed out to mid-off. The pacer then bowled Praveen Kumar (1) out a couple of deliveries later. However, Harbhajan Singh (7*) ended the MI innings with a big hit, breaking the shackles that CSK had applied, thanks to a seven-ball stretch that saw four batsmen walk back to the dugout.
As a result, MI ended up with 173 for eight after their 20 overs. For CSK, Mohit picked up three wickets, while Nehra and Jadeja accounted for two scalps apiece.
Powerplay: CSK make a strong start
While MI had a couple of near misses in the early overs, CSK’s openers – Dwayne Smith and Faf du Plessis – were largely dominant in the early stages. While they were treading with caution against Praveen Kumar, who was swinging the ball prodigiously, they took Anderson to the cleaners in the fourth over, off which they plundered 18 runs. They even scored 17 runs off the sixth over, courtesy four fours off du Plessis’ willow.
By the end of the powerplay, the CSK batsmen had completely dominated the MI pace attack and posted 60 runs without loss.
Middle Overs: CSK on top despite triple-blow
The middle stretch seemed promising for MI as Harbhajan Singh bagged two key wickets in the seventh over. At first, the veteran spinner got rid of Smith (24), who holed out in the deep. And a couple of deliveries later, he dismissed du Plessis (35). But with Suresh Raina and Bredon McCullum in the middle, MI were not really out of the woods. They had the uphill task of stemming the flow of runs while picking timely wickets. And while they did get rid of McCullum (14) in the 10th over – off the bowling of Pragyan Ojha – CSK still managed to post 89 runs for the loss of three wickets by the halfway stage.
McCullum’s wicket was the last bit of success MI would taste as Raina kept chipping away at the target with David Hussey for company. By the end of the 15th over, the duo had laid the foundation for what was shaping into a match-winning partnership. At that point, the scorecard read 132 for three.
Final Stretch: Clinical Raina drives CSK home with David Hussey
With 42 runs needed from the last 30 balls, both Raina and David Hussey (40*) stepped up to the plate and put the pressure back on the bowling side. They plundered 20 runs off the 16th over to bring the required run-rate to below six-an-over. Raina (54*) then brought up his half-century in the 18th over with CSK within striking distance of their target. The southpaw then struck the winning four in the next over to complete a clinical run-chase in 18.4 overs.
Man of the Match: Suresh Raina for his match-winning half-century