The Mumbai Indians exacted revenge for their loss to the Chennai Super Kings in the VIVO IPL 2018 season opener after they defeated the same opponent by 8 wickets at the MCA International Cricket Stadium in Pune on Saturday night. After winning the toss and restricting the hosts to a par total – 169-5 – the Mumbai Indians knocked off the runs in 19.4 overs.
In pursuit of 170, the defending champions were provided the perfect platform by the opening pair of Suryakumar Yadav and Evin Lewis who added 69 runs. After Yadav’s dismissal, runs flowed from both ends; Lewis opened up, while captain Rohit Sharma struck a few neat hits. The second wicket pair added 59 runs in 6.2 overs and took MI closer when Lewis attempted to hit Dwayne Bravo out of the ground but holed out to long-off.
CSK used that opening to pile on the pressure, but Rohit held his composure amidst the fast-climbing required rate and delivered the goods to take his team across the line. When the equation had come down 37 off the last three overs, and subsequently to 22 off two overs, Rohit pounced on his familiarity of Shardul Thakur and hit him for four boundaries. The MI captain, who brought up his half-century off 31 balls, would finish unbeaten on 56, his runs coming off 33 balls; his knock contained six boundaries and two sixes. MI were 50-0 after the powerplay, added 73 runs in the middle period, and added a further 47 runs in 4.4 overs to walk away with two crucial points.
Earlier in the evening, the Chennai Super Kings’ innings ebbed and flowed after they were asked to bat. A slow start – 24 after four overs – followed a period when Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu stepped on the accelerator. The second wicket pair added 71 runs in 7 overs before Rayudu hit the left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya down the throat of deep midwicket. Then again a period of calm – when Raina and MS Dhoni could only score 11 runs over a period of 19 deliveries. Finally, the end overs flourish, when Raina found the boundaries on a few occasions. CSK scored 51-1 in the powerplay, added 66-1 in the middle period, and added a further 52 runs (for three wickets) in the death overs to eventually finish at 169-5.
Standout batting performance
Suryakumar Yadav, in his new role as opener, once again set the tempo for MI’s run-chase. He was aggressive from the very beginning and punished any width on offer and on one occasion elegantly flicked a leg stump delivery from Shardul Thakur into the stands behind square-leg. The 27-year old scored 44 from 34 balls, and dominated the opening stand before his innings was thwarted by a sharp outfield catch by Ravindra Jadeja.
After the openers had set the platform, it needed someone with the experience of Rohit Sharma to build on that platform and complete the job. The MI captain, batting at three, played the ball to all parts of the ground – and in the crucial 19th over, was one step ahead of the bowler Shardul Thakur. He sliced away the first ball he faced to the point boundary, then walked across to the off-side and guided the next – a leg-stump delivery – to the fine-leg boundary. He completed a hat-trick of boundaries when he flayed a wide delivery and sent it on its way to the point boundary. Finally, he completed the over in style, staying low and swatting away an attempted yorker to the square-leg boundary.
Suresh Raina – 75 not out – would be CSK’s top-scorer. The left-hander played some outrageous shots in his 47-ball outing. He got off to a brisk start, scoring 32 off the first 18 balls he faced, then slowed down in the middle period scoring 11 off the next 14 balls, and finally finished with a flourish, adding 32 off the last 15 balls he faced. The only bowler who kept him quiet in the match was the left-arm pacer Mitchell McClenaghan, off who he scored 8 runs off 8 balls. Generally though, Raina was busy at the crease and ran plenty of ones and twos; he also hit six fours and four sixes – all the sixes coming in the long-on region.
Notable Support Act – Batting
Despite not being at his destructive best, particularly early on, Evin Lewis persevered and scored 47. The left-hander was stuck in first gear and played second fiddle in the opening partnership, but blossomed subsequently. From 13 off 22 balls – a strike-rate of 59.09, Lewis exploded to score 34 off the next 19 balls; he hit three fours and two sixes.
Chennai Super Kings’ Ambati Rayudu firmed up his position at the top of the Orange Cap standings with yet another impressive knock. That the 32-year old is riding high on confidence was there for all to see when he charged down the ground and hit the left-arm pacer McClenaghan for a six over the bowler’s head – this in the first over of the match. The CSK opener hit two boundaries and four sixes in his 35-ball 46 – the one other outrageous shot being the hit over the mid-off fielder and into the stands, off the bowling of Hardik Pandya.
Standout bowling performance
The Pandya brothers picked up three wickets between them, but the two bowlers who stood out for MI were Mitchell McClenaghan (2-26) & Jasprit Bumrah. The Kiwi pacer was the one bowler who kept Raina quiet at the crease, and then dismissed Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo in the same over. Bumrah came in for tap at the hands of Raina – conceding 20 runs off the 10 balls he bowled to the left-hander, but against the rest, he only conceded 5 runs off 14 balls. Bumrah’s final analysis read 0-25 – his four-over spell containing 12 dot balls.
Stat of the Match
Rohit Sharma had scored 30 runs off the first 23 balls he faced; thereafter he scored 26 runs off the next 10 balls.
Chennai Super Kings 169-5 (Ambati Rayudu 46, Suresh Raina 75*, MS Dhoni 26, Krunal Pandya 2-32, Mitchell McClenaghan 2-26) lost to
Mumbai Indians 170-2 in 19.4 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 44, Evin Lewis 47, Rohit Sharma 56*) by 8 wickets.
Man of the Match:
Rohit Sharma, for his unbeaten 56.