On a lively Wankhede Stadium track, batters struggled to cope with pace and bounce before Mumbai Indians (MI) prevailed by five wickets in a low-scoring Indian Premier League match to end Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) slim hopes of making the play-offs.
After electing to field on winning the toss, the MI pace attack blew away the CSK batting line-up which was left ruing the non-availability of the DRS at the start of the match. Opener Devon Conway was unlucky to be given out leg-before on the second ball of the match when DRS was not available due to a technical snag but the rest of the line-up collapsed in a heap and CSK were all out for 97. It was their second lowest total in IPL after 79 versus MI at the Wankhede Stadium in 2013.
In reply, MI also struggled against the new ball. They were bailed out by the fifth-wicket pair of Tilak Varma and Hrithik Shokeen who added 48 runs in 47 balls.
Shokeen was finally out when the total was 81, the fifth wicket falling in the 13th over, but only 17 runs were needed off 44 balls at that stage. Varma was still there on 28. He helped MI to their third win in the tournament. This was CSK’s eighth defeat. MI were already out of contention having lost nine games.
For MI, Daniel Sams was the wrecker-in-chief, picking up three wickets in the powerplay to finish with figures of 4-0-16-3, Riley Meredith took 2/27 and spearhead Jasprit Bumrah produced another fine effort of 1/13.
Sams picked two wickets in the first over. The first breakthrough was lucky when umpire Ravikant Reddy raised his finger against opener Conway. The ball appeared to be going down the leg side, but there was no DRS available till the fourth over for the batter to review.
It was a massive wicket. Conway was coming into the game with three successive half-centuries. Two balls later, Sams dug one short and Moeen Ali was late on his pull shot and lobbed an easy catch to Shokeen at short midwicket. CSK never recovered from the early blows with only skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (36*) waging a lone battle.
MI didn’t fare any better in the powerplay. Their new ball pair of Mukesh Choudhary and Simarjeet Singh bowled their full quota straight up to run through the MI top order and get CSK back into the game. Choudhary had figures of 4-0-23-3 and Singh finished with 4-0-23-1, picking the big wicket of Rohit Sharma, whose wretched run continued. Sharma made 18.
After five overs, MI were 34/4. But they had 90 balls to get the remaining 64 runs. Varma, Shokeen and Tim David ensured their no further hiccups.