Chennai: Rohit Sharma’s barren run with willow continued as Chennai Super Kings broke a 13-year-old home jinx against Mumbai Indians with an easy six-wicket victory in an IPL match, here on Saturday.
The Indian skipper’s horrid run in IPL since last edition continued as he failed to trouble the scorer for the second match in succession with MI scoring a below par 139 for 8 against an inspired performance from the CSK pace and seam troika of Deepak Chahar (2/18 in 4 overs), Man of the match Matheesha Pathirana (3/15 in 4 overs) and Tushar Deshpande (2/25 in 4 overs).
The chase was a cakewalk as Devon Conway (44 off 42 balls) played the role of anchor to perfection after Ruturaj Gaikwad’s whirlwind 16-ball-30. The win was completed in 17.5 overs and CSK leapfrogged to second place behind Gujarat Titans in the points table.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored the winning runs much to the delight of the adoring crowd at Chepauk. The last time CSK won against MI at Chepauk was in 2010, even before India had won the ODI World Cup under Dhoni.
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For MI, it was a bad loss as they stay in sixth place with 10 points from as many games and very little margin for error after this match.
But what will certainly both MI is their skipper’s prolonged lean patch as 184 runs from 10 games with five scores of less than 10 and only two scores above 40 will set some panic in the ranks.
Not to forget, coming down the batting order at No. 3 didn’t work as an indiscreet lap-scoop off Deepak Chahar didn’t work at all for the skipper.
But no amount of praise will be enough for Pathirana, who literally bottled the MI batters during the death overs as he didn’t concede a single boundary in his four-over spell.
In the MI innings, a maiden half-century in IPL by left-handed batter Nehal Wadhera (64, 51 balls, 8×4, 1×6) and his half-century partnerships with Suryakumar Yadav (26) and Tristan Stubbs (20) helped salvage things for MI, which lost three wickets by the third over and reach 139 for 8.
After opting to bowl, CSK bowlers left MI in disarray, reducing the opposition to 16 for 3 by the end of the third over.
Chahar picked up the wickets of Ishan Kishan (7, 9 balls, 1×4) and MI skipper Rohit Sharma (0, 3 balls) while Tushar Deshpande provided the first breakthrough by removing the dangerous Cameron Green, getting him bowled for 6 (4 balls, 1 four).
MI lost three wickets in space of 7 deliveries whilst scoring only 1 run and looked in deep trouble before Surya (26, 22 balls, 3×4) and Wadhera began the rescue act.
Surya and Wadhera added 55 runs in 7 overs and began to look more assured in the middle before Ravindra Jadeja fired a quicker one to dismiss the former.
Surya, who regained form in the previous game against Punjab Kings, held the key for MI after the early setbacks, and he looked to be guiding the team towards safety when Jadeja’s faster one got the better of him.
Tim David, of whom much was expected, lasted just 4 balls, scoring two runs before being dismissed by Deshpande.
Pathirana, who seems to be getting better with every game, gave away 2 runs in the 18th over and 5 runs in the final over as CSK strangled Mumbai Indians with pace, for a change. The MI batters could not get away the slinger from Sri Lanka in a modest performance.
MI 139/8 in 20 overs (Nehal Wadhera 64, Deepak Chahar 2/18, Tushar Deshpande 2/26, Matheesha Pathirana 3/15 ).
CSK 140/4 in 17.4 overs (Devon Conway 44 off 42 balls, Ruturaj Gaikwad 30 off 16 balls Piyush Chawla 2/25).