Mumbai Indians outclass Chennai Super Kings
A week after one Borivali boy slapped them around in Mohali, Chennai got the same treatment from another one, this time in Mumbai.
Nohit Rohit Sharma finally got a turn at batting early enough in this IPL and didn’t waste time replicating his international career, he scored runs. Beautifully, I must grudgingly add.
The highly influential MS Dhoni’s say in the selection matters of CSK saw Joginder Sharma make a comeback to the playing XI while Southee made way for Randiv. Mumbai dropped Ali Murtaza, the only MI player in my fantasy team to bring in Harbhajan Singh. The many levels on which this loss hurt me is not funny.
The bowlers began well reducing MI to 13-2 with makeshift opener R Sathish and that other guy Sachin Tendulkar dismissed. Rohit Sharma though played wonderfully right from the start bringing up the scoring rate with Rayudu. After Rayudu’s dismissal he partnered up with DC mate Symonds to keep going. Symonds looked uncomfortable against spin but got on by reading the ball off the pitch and hacking at them.
There was the odd bit of luck and some decisions from Dhoni which went awry. Joginder and Raina went for runs in their second spells after economical first ones, deliveries repeatedly just missed the leg stump after beating the batsmen, aerial shots landed between men and catches were dropped, comically. Bollinger did well at the end though to restrict Mumbai to 165/4.
Vijay’s promising 12 was cut short by Munaf and Raina was tricked into hitting a lame return catch to Harbhajan reducing Chennai to 38/2. CSK’s tireless worker Badri came in and set about rebuilding with Mike Hussey. The duo built up to a position of strength taking CSK to 98 after the 11th over before Malinga returned and immediately caught Hussey by surprise with a short ball. Kieron Pollard dove and held a brilliant catch at midwicket and MI never let go after that.
MI’s exceptionally tight fielding heaped on the pressure, Sachin sneaked in overs by Pollard and Sathish as the rest of CSK’s batsmen fell to scoreboard pressure. Dhoni mishit a Pollard delivery to third man where Rohit took another stunner. Harbhajan broke the partnership between Badri and Cheeka jr and then virtually sealed the match with 3 wickets in his next over, bagging a 5 wicket haul as Morkel, Ashwin and Joginder tried to go for broke. Badri, having got to 50 by then barely got any strike towards the end but kept Chennai mathematically in the hunt till midway into the last over. With 25 runs needed off the last over Badri managed to take off 16 runs (with the help of a misfield, finally!) as Mumbai wrapped up a nine run win.
It was beautiful batting from Badrinath but Mumbai were just too good with their fielding and bowlers sticking to their plans. Harbhajan Even a rhythm bowler like Munaf came in to bowl the 20th over after last having bowled in the 6th over and did a decent job for the situation.
Chennai had to face the ignominy of going down to the 10th spot in the points table if Delhi had won their match convincingly enough today against Punjab. They escaped that fate by a close margin though and need to pick themselves up in the next few weeks to keep the campaign alive.
The altered format of the qualifiers this year adds an incentive to teams that try to finish on top instead of finishing in the top four so that is what they need to aim for. They had a worse run last year before rallying to make it to the semis so they know how hard it is. Would be better though if they avoid being in that situation altogether.
The idea of not making it to the semis for the first time itself should be enough of a motivation leave aside the expectations of being the defending champion.
Now it’s time for the
Paul Valthaty Update
Paul Valthaty has played two matches for the Kings XI Punjab since the last Paul Valthaty Update, first he slammed 46 off 31 balls with four 4s and three 6s against his former team, the Rajasthan Royals as KXIP surged to a 48 run win at Mohali. Unremarkable you say? Not at all because from being the guy who was tied with Sachin Tendulkar in the run charts he became the guy leaving Sachin behind in his trail in the run charts. Sachin Tendulkar made 35 to go forward from the 201 the both were tied on but Paul Valthaty’s 48 saw him clear the little master by 13 whole runs. Paul Valthaty, Orange Cap IPL 2011 is something we should get used to hearing.
He’d have been on top even if he had got a duck today because Sachin only managed 5 runs in Mumbai’s next match which was definitely because of the stronger opposition they played against. But Paul Valthaty isn’t a man of half measures, when he hits them they stay hit and countless such hard hitting related clichés hold true of this man. He scored 14 today which means he’s an eye popping 22 runs ahead of the old hand.
Next Paul Valthaty update will be up on 1st May, after KXIPs next match which is on 30th April. Must update team.