Match 43 of the Pepsi IPL 2015 was played between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai on Friday. While the hosts looked to seal a place in the playoffs, Mumbai needed a win to get back into contention for the top four. In their previous encounter, the Super Kings earned an easy win owing to some explosive batsmanship by their opening pair of Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum.
This encounter was sure to be different from the one at the Wankhede and it was indeed an exciting match with a thrilling finish. The Mumbai Indians snatched a 4-wicket win from the jaws of defeat to boost their qualification hopes. Batting first, Chennai Super Kings posted a competitive 158/5 on the board. Despite a strong start to the chase, it took Mumbai 19.4 overs to chase the target down for the loss of 4 wickets. Young all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s cameo (21* from 8 balls) saw Mumbai Indians through.
CSK bat first, McCullum falls after early fireworks:
Home captain MS Dhoni won the coin toss and elected to bat. Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum were once again off to a strong start and added 44 runs by the end of the 5th over. McCullum (23 off 11) was caught by Hardik Pandya in the penultimate ball of that over off R Vinay Kumar’s bowling. The scoring rate was then brought down by the spin pair of Harbhajan Singh and J Suchith. The duo were awarded for their efforts in the form of the wickets of Dwayne Smith (27 off 34) and Suresh Raina (10 off 10). Both were dismissed within the space of 4 balls and were caught at mid-wicket by Pandya once again.
Dhoni, du Plessis build solid stand, Negi pushes Chennai to 158:
Chennai skipper MS Dhoni once again made an early entry to the crease and began to stitch a steady partnership along with Faf du Plessis. They added 39 runs in 35 balls for the 4th wicket and both batsmen struggled to increase the innings run rate. South African du Plesssis’ dismissal saw left-hander Pawan Negi enter the field. His fearless approach towards the game and explosive intent saw him tonk 4 boundaries and a six in his short cameo of 36 from 17 balls. Dhoni scored an unbeaten 39 off 32 balls and CSK could only manage 158 runs on the board.
Mumbai Indians off to strong start:
The Mumbai Indians finally seemed to have settled their opening batting woes. The left-right combination of Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel decided to take the attack to the opposition and hammered lead CSK pacer Ashish Nehra for 28 runs in his two overs. Both batsmen played with a positive intent and kept the required run-rate under check. Mumbai Indians were placed at 84/0 at halfway stage.
CSK lock down Mumbai, Pandya and Rayudu snatch victory:
Chennai’s lead spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was brought back into the attack after a slightly expensive opening spell. He came back well by dismissing both the openers and brought the Super Kings back into the game. Thereon, the home side pressed Mumbai Indians further as Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard tried to rotate the strike and inch closer towards the target. The visitors received another blow in the 12th over when Dwayne Bravo fired a direct hit from short third man to run Pollard out.
Ambati Rayudu made his way to the crease when the required run-rate was climbing up to around 11.5 runs an over. The responsibility of getting the chase back on track was his as Rohit Sharma struggled to get the boundaries. He was finally dismissed after scoring a scratchy 18 off 22 balls. Bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya was sent ahead of Harbhajan Singh and the youngster attacked left-arm spinner Pawan Negi from his first ball. He smashed 3 sixes in the 19th over to turn the game on its head. 25 runs came off that over and Mumbai Indians now needed only 5 runs from the last over.
A top-edged boundary from Rayudu’s blade sealed the game for the Mumbai Indians. Chennai Super Kings would be disappointed with this performance as some of their best fielders spilled crucial catches. Pandya was adjudged the man of the match for his match-winning knock of 21* from 8 balls. To top it up, he also took 3 catches in the first innings.
Chennai Super Kings 158/5 (MS Dhoni 39*, Pawan Negi 36, J Suchith 1-21) lost to Mumbai Indians 159/4 (Parthiv Patel 45, Lendl Simmons 38, R Ashwin 2-17) by 6 wickets.