Suryakumar Yadav scored a brilliant 71*, after Rahul Chahar’s performance of a lifetime - 2/14, to put Mumbai Indians into the IPL final. After suffering an early collapse, Ambati Rayudu (42*) and MS Dhoni (37*) tried to rebuild the innings but could only manage a sub par 131 in the first innings.
Brief Scores : Chennai Super Kings 131/4 (Ambati Rayudu 42*, MS Dhoni 37*; Rahul Chahar 2/14, Krunal Pandya 1/21) lost to Mumbai Indians 132/4 (Suryakumar Yadav 71*, Ishan Kishan 28; Imran Tahir 2/33, Harbhajan Singh 1/25) by six wickets.
Winning the toss, CSK skipper, to the surprise of many, decided to hand the ball to Mumbai Indians first. In the group stages, six out of seven captains, who had won the toss, had decided to bowl first which made Rohit Sharma’s claim that he would have done the same even more surprising.
The hosts got off to a horrible start as, not only did they lose Faf du Plessis, they could only manage seven runs in the first three overs. Before Shane Watson hit Jasprit Bumrah for two fours in the fifth over, Mumbai had already sent Suresh Raina to the hut as well. And it got worse as the scoreboard read 32/3 at the end of the powerplay with Watson back in the dressing room as well.
The onus was on the paring of Ambati Rayudu and Murali Vijay to guide the team to safer waters and they did just that. Over the next six overs, the duo ensured that no more damage was done but could not get the run rate to a competitive number as at the end of the 12th over, all they could manage was to take the score to 65 runs.
With Vijay walking back on the first ball of the 13th over and Rahul Chahar conceding just three runs in that over, Rayudu knew that he had to take matters into his own hands. And after Dhoni hit Jayant Yadav for a six in the next over, Rayudu followed suit with some innovative shots. With Dhoni milking Malinga for 15 in the penultimate over, it looked like Chennai were on their way of recovering from their bad start.
But it was not to be as despite getting a reprieve, through a no ball, on the first ball of Bumrah’s over, all the duo could manage was nine runs to take the score to a sub par 131/4 in the allotted 20 overs.
Much like Chennai, Mumbai got off to a horror start with Rohit Sharma, who had hit a boundary on the very first ball of the innings, throwing away his wicket on the second ball. Quinton de Kock ensured that Mumbai kept up with the required rate as the visitors reached 20/1 midway through the powerplay.
While de Kock was dismissed soon after, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan made sure that they stopped the bleeding while scoring some runs as well. After reaching 44/2 at the end of the powerplay, the duo took just 15 runs in the next 18 balls with the ball not crossing the boundary even once. Once completely settled though, the Indian pairing took their team to almost a run a ball equation by the end of the 13th over.
While nothing was going in Chennai’s favour in the game, the CSK faithful did get some hope when Tahir picked up Kishan and Krunal Pandya on back to back balls. The faith appeared to turn into resolve, if only for a second, when Yadav edged a ball to Watson at first slip but the Aussie failed to get down in time.
That was the last real chance that Chennai had of making any sort of a comeback into the game. Hardik Pandya and Yadav ensured that no more risks were taken and Mumbai sealed a place in the final for a fifth time in 12 years. It was also the sixth straight victory that Mumbai had managed at the home of the three time Champions.
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