Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by six wickets at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday in Qualifier 1 of IPL 2019. Suryakumar Yadav was declared player-of-the-match for his sensible knock of 71.
Chennai Super Kings won the toss and opted to bat first on a spin-friendly track. However, the early blows by Mumbai never let the hosts settle. Faf du Plessis (6) fell to Rahul Chahar in the 3rd over, Suresh Raina (5) fell to Jayant Yadav in the 4th over and soon Chennai were reduced to 64-4 after 12.1 overs. But the partnership between MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu helped Chennai post a respectable total of 131-4 at the end of 20 overs.
Chasing the target, Mumbai lost its captain Rohit Sharma (4) in the very first over to Deepak Chahar. Later, Quinton de Kock (8) followed the skipper in the 4th over after being trapped by Harbhajan. Mumbai were 21-2 after 3.2 overs and Chennai almost brought a twist in the tale but Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav steadied the ship. The duo added 80 runs for the third wicket and took the match far away from the clutches of Chennai. However, Imran Tahir raised some hopes in the yellow camp by taking two wickets in two consecutive deliveries, including the likes of Ishan Kishan (28) and Krunal Pandya (0), but Suryakumar Yadav continued his onslaught to take Mumbai home safely with nine balls to spare.
With this win, Mumbai Indians have reached IPL final for the fifth time. It is also the fourth consecutive win for MI against CSK. However, it is to note that CSK in its home ground has lost only three out of 21 matches and all three have come playing against Mumbai Indians.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 131/4 (Ambati Rayudu 42 not out, M.S. Dhoni 37 not out, Rahul Chahar 2/14); Mumbai Indians 132/4 in 18.3 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 71 not out, Imran Tahir 2/33)
Here are four talking points from the game:
Magical spell of Rahul Chahar
On a spinning Chidambaram track, the onus was on 19-year-old Rahul Chahar and the lad stood up to the expectations. He never let the hosts settle down and kept spinning the ball, beating the edge of batman’s willow.
In his quota of four overs, the leggie conceded only 14 runs and took the crucial wickets of Faf du Plessis and Murli Vijay, who are among the best players of spin bowling.
Partnership between Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni
In the first innings, Chennai were reeling at 65 for four at one stage and the game was turning out to be an insipid one but then its skipper MS Dhoni steeped-in and proved his mettle again. Dhoni along with Ambati Rayudu added 66 runs in 47 balls to help Chennai post a fighting total of 131 runs. Dhoni’s blazing 37 runs off 29 balls included three sixes, two of which came in the 19th over where he took on Lasith Malinga to stands for two consecutive sixes. Rayudu also played a fine knock of 42 with the help of three boundaries and a six.
Suryakumar Yadav’s match-defining innings
Chennai posted a fighting total and the early blows to Mumbai in the chase entailed someone to play an anchor innings, and Suryakumar Yadav was the man on duty.
Yadav was playing at a score of 11 when Murli Vijay dropped him at mid-on. After that, the wristy player never looked back and employed his feet against spin. He went on to score his second fifty of this edition of IPL. Playing some really fancy and sensible shots, Yadav outclassed the men in yellow. His 71-run innings of 54 balls which included ten boundaries helped him bag the man-of-the-match trophy.
Spell of Imran Tahir
After Rahul Chahar performed brilliantly in the first innings and restricted Chennai to a fighting 131, the game was highly dependent on Imran Tahir, the second leading wicket-taker in the ongoing edition of IPL. But the latter failed to stand up to expectations. However, the spinner took two consecutive wickets in last two deliveries of his third over but by then the match had already turned into a dead rubber. Tahir in his quota of four overs took two wickets but conceded 33 runs which is something unexpected from the master spinner on a spin-friendly track.