Chennai Super Kings thrash Mumbai Indians to strengthen claim for the playoffs

MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma after the match

Chennai Super Kings recorded a big six-wicket win over rivals Mumbai Indians in the 49th match of the Indian Premier League 2023 (IPL) at home on Saturday afternoon.

MS Dhoni won the toss for Chennai and elected to bowl first with no changes to their playing eleven. Mumbai Indians made two big changes to their playing eleven with South African big hitter Tristan Stubbs coming in for Tilak Verma. Raghav Goyal, the 22-year-old spinner, replaced Kumar Kartikeya to make his IPL debut.

Australian all-rounder Cameron Green opened the innings with Ishan Kishan as struggling skipper Rohit Sharma played in the no.3 position. Ishan and Green registered a four each off Deepak Chahar in the very first over to give Mumbai a promising start. But the momentum shifted quickly toward the home side with in-form pacer Tushar Deshpande dismissing Green with an unplayable delivery in the second over.

After getting thrashed in the first over, Chahar made a sensational comeback in the third over. Ishan Kishan tried to ease off the pressure created after losing an early wicket with a big shot but was caught out with a thick edge. Deepak further shocked Mumbai’s camp with Rohit’s wicket after three deliveries.

The Mumbai skipper tried to do something different as he went for an unnecessary scoop shot and misjudged the timing and Ravindra Jadeja took an easy catch at a point as Mumbai lost their top three batters with just 16 runs on the scoreboard in three overs. 

Nehal Wadhera and flying-again Suryakumar Yadav then started Mumbai’s fightback with some sensible batting to avoid further wickets. The duo added 55 runs for the fourth wicket as Suryakumar scored 26 runs off 22 balls with the help of three fours before getting bowled out on a spectacular delivery by Jadeja.

Wadhera was patient with his shot selection as he kept the scoreboard moving with an admirable aggressive knock recording his maiden IPL half-century as Stubbs supported him and they built a partnership of 54 runs for the fifth wicket.

Matheesha Pathirana won the Player of the Match for his 3/15 spell

Death overs specialist Pathirana gave a breakthrough in the 18th over with Wadhera’s wicket. Mumbai youngster top-scored with 64 runs off 51 while Stubbs added 20 runs off 21 deliveries after struggling for the finish.

Pathirana picked two more wickets in the last over as the Mumbai-based franchise managed to score just 139 runs in 20 overs. Tushar and Deepak took two wickets each while Pathirana bagged three for Chennai. For Mumbai, only Wadhera, Suryakumar, and Stubbs managed to record double-digit scores.

Mumbai’s only chance to defend the low-score total was to pick a few early wickets. But Chennai’s in-form openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway gave another good start for their team. Gaikwad started with two fours off Green in the first over to add early pressure on the opponents and further hammered Mumbai’s hopes as he tore apart Arshad Khan in the third over. He pulled off a big six over mid-wicket to clear his intentions and then displayed his technically-gifted side with two well-placed fours. He finished the over with another shot for the maximum over the long leg to make it a 20-run over.

Conway also accelerated his innings with two boundaries off Jofra Archer in the next over as Chennai added 46 runs in the first four overs. Rohit introduced his leading wicket-taker Piyush Chawla in the fourth over and the veteran spinner provided an instant success with Gaikwad’s wicket on the very first delivery. Gaikwad scored 30 runs off just 16 balls making this his fifth consecutive 30-plus knock.

In-form Ajinkya Rahane joined Conway and the experienced duo added 35 runs for the second wicket to deny Mumbai to build up on Gaikwad’s wicket. Chawla handed Mumbai another breakthrough with Rahane’s wicket in the ninth over but Chennai Super Kings were in a comfortable position with 81/2 in nine overs. 

Ambati Rayudu came in as an impact player ahead of Shivam Dube but endured another disappointing display. He managed to pull off one big maximum in the crowd but scored just 12 runs off 11 balls before getting caught on Stubbs’ delivery.

Conway was defensive with his approach and top-scored with 44 runs off 42 deliveries with the help of four boundaries only. Akash Madhwal picked his maiden IPL wicket in the form of the Kiwi opener with a ripping yorker in the 17th over. 

Dube smashed 26 runs off 18 balls with the help of three sixes to finish the game for Chennai with 14 balls to spare. Pathirana bagged a Player of the Match award for his 3/15 spell while Tushar retained Purple Cap as he took his wicket tally to 19 wickets this season.

A win boosted Chennai Super Kings to the second position in the points table with 13 points after 11 games and will host Delhi Capitals on Wednesday while Mumbai Indians remain in the sixth position with 10 points from 10 matches and will play against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wankhade Stadium on Tuesday.