The much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) is back and underway, in the most unusual way, with empty stands, recorded crowd cheers, virtual post match interviews and so on. But for fans back in India, some things still remained the same, with Mumbai Indians once again losing their IPL season-opener, who won their last season-opener back in 2012, dew heavily affecting the second innings of the game, and MS Dhoni unbeaten at the crease with his team successfully chasing down a total.
The Chennai Super Kings ended their five-match losing streak against the Mumbai Indians, as they defeated the defending champions by five wickets in the season-opener, riding on a brilliant all-round team effort at the Sheikh Zayed International Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Put into bat after losing the toss, the Mumbai Indians got off to a flyer as the Mumbai skipper, Rohit Sharma smashed the first ball of IPL 2020 into the boundary with a cracking off-drive. Although Rohit didn’t really take off with his innings, the Mumbai Indians scored heavily in the powerplay, with Quinton de Kock scoring 33 of just 20 deliveries.
It was a clever bowling change from MS Dhoni that got them their first wicket in the form of Rohit Sharma(12 of 10), when Dhoni brought in CSK’s new signing Piyush Chawla in the fifth over and he struck with the second ball having Rohit caught straight to CSK’s another new signing, Sam Curran.
Quinton de Kock who looked dangerous in his short stay, was removed in the very next over by Sam Curran, when the Mumbai opener trying to heave one over the leg side found Shane Watson.
Surya Kumar Yadav(17 of 16) and Saurabh Tiwary(42 of 31) continued the momentum for the home side as they reached the 10th over mark safely placed for a big total at 86/2.
Deepak Chahar removed Surya Kumar Yadav in the last ball of the 11th over which brought in Hardik Pandya. Hardik Pandya(14 of 10) didn’t waste much of his time as he smashed a big one in the third ball he faced, followed by another one back to back over the mid-wicket region of Jadeja’s bowling. But Pandya’s stint was short as he couldn’t do much after the two sixes and Jadeja came back strong in the 15th over dismissing the well set Saurabh Tiwary and the dangerous looking Hardik Pandya in the same over, courtesy of two stunning flying catches from Faf du Plessis in the boundary line.
The Mumbai innings only struggled after that with no significant contribution from the lower order, as Ngidi dismissed Krunal Pandya(3 of 3), Kieron Pollard(18 of 14) and James Pattinson(11 of 8) in quick successions, thus handing Mumbai Indians a dramatic second half collapse, who after reaching 86/2 at the 10 over mark could only manage a par score of 162/9 at the end of the 20 overs.
Coming out to chase a modest total under the lights, the Chennai Super Kings had a nightmare start, as Trent Boult removed both the Chennai openers, Shane Watson(4 of 5) and Murali Vijay (1 of 7) in his first two over, thus reducing the visitors to 6/2 in the third over itself.
It was then a brilliant 115-run partnership between the CSK old guys, Ambati Rayudu(71 of 48) and Faf du Plessis(58* of 44) that steadied the ship for the visitors. Rayudu and Faf just seemed to have milk the Mumbai bowlers with ease once they were set. The partnership was finally broken by a brilliant caught and bowl from Rahul Chahar , dismissing Rayudu in the 16th over.
With CSK needing 42 more to win off 24 balls, Dhoni sent in Jadeja(10 of 5), but he was trapped lbw by a quicker ball from Krunal Pandya in the first ball of the 18th over, with Chennai still needing 29 of 17. Dhoni sent in another left-hander, the young Sam Curran who smashed a quickfire 18 of just 6 deliveries grabbing everyone’s attnention, before he was dismissed by Bumrah in the 19th over. This brought in MS Dhoni out to the crease with 10 needed of 10. Dhoni though faced just two balls and didn’t score a run, he made a significant impact with his batting order, especially promoting the young Sam Curran, which proved to be exceptionally good. Finally Faf du Plessis finished off the game with a boundary, thus winning the season-opener for Chennai by five wickets.
Mumbai Indians – 162/9 (20/20 overs)
Saurabh Tiwary 42(31)
Quinton de Kock 33(20)
Lungi Ngidi 3/38(4)
Deepak Chahar 2/32(4)
Chennai Super Kings – 166/5 (19.2/20 overs)
Ambati Rayudu 71(48
Faf du Plessis 58*(44)
James Pattinson 1/27(4)
Trent Boult 1/23(3.2)
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS WON BY 5 WICKETS
Player of the Match – Ambati Rayudu
Dream11 Game Changer of the Match – Faf du Plessis
Tata Altroz Super Striker of the Match – Quinton de Kock
Unacademy Let’s crack it Sixes – Ambati Rayudu
Cred Power Player – Quinton de Kock
TODAY’S MATCH – Delhi Capitals vs Kings XI Punjab
Venue – Dubai International Stadium
Toss – 7pm IST
Match Time – 7:30pm IST
Match can be viewed on the Star Sports Network and the Disney + Hotstar VIP subscription