Chennai Super Kings beat Mumbai Indians at Chepauk, Chennai
The Chennai Super Kings pulled a whole frikkin zoo out of a hat to beat the Mumbai Indians by 24 runs in their IPL encounter at the Chepauk in Chennai.
MI were on a hot 5 match winning streak and on their way to an easy sixth one when Sachin walked off the field with the score at 62/1. Cue a collapse reminiscent of the 1990s Indian cricket team weverytime Sachin got out ; MI lost 6 wickets in the next 5 overs. Their main men in the middle order this season, Rayudu and Tiwary folded under the pressure of the chase while Bravo and Pollard went out trying to accelerate.
Sachin returned to bat but the heat had taken it’s toll on him and he was out soon holing out to long on.
Credit to CSK who closed the match for a ruthless come from behind victory with some never seen before superb fielding and common sense bowling. Okay it was not all common sense bowling because Thushara was taken off for bowling two beamers and had to replaced by Raina. Harbhajan swatted Doug Bollinger for consecutive sixes but the left arm quick had his revenge off the final ball of the match when he bowled out Harbhajan earning respite for the thousands who must have picked him in their fantasy cricket teams after his show against Rajasthan earlier this week.
Mumbai remain on top of the points table while CSK displace Rajasthan Royals from number 4 on account of having a better NRR. Chennai needed this win desperately to give their campaign some momentum. Mumbai needn’t worry yet but must be fretting over the fitness status of both Sachin and Zaheer now that they’ve got only one home game remaining in their campaign.
Having got this win without Murali and Morkel on the batting friendly Chepauk pitch is gonna mess with Dhoni’s mind for a while but hopefully he’ll be able to sort it out.
Mike Hussey wasn’t as effective as Dhoni would have liked to him be and that should make his decision easier. Thushara suddenly bowling well will also add to the permutations in his head but he’d be happy to have a problem of plenty any day.
All the people who picked Murali Vijay in their fantasy cricket team on the back of his form in the past two games had to go happy with the points he got for the two catches he took in the outfield tonight, not many runs from him tonight. No one got a fifty but there were a bunch of relatively economical 2-fors.
Man of the Match award? Suresh Raina got it for 20 odd runs and a wicket. Oddest decision ever.
Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab at Jaipur
and Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils at Kolkata