Defending champions Mumbai Indians made heavy weather of the runchase but held their nerves in the end to beat table-toppers Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets and return to winning ways in the Indian Premier League, here today. Languishing at the bottom with only one win from six matches, Mumbai Indians restricted Chennai Super Kings to 169-5, mainly built around Suresh Raina’s unbeaten 75-run innings. Mumbai then returned to overhaul the target with two balls to spare at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium. Rohit Sharma played a captain’s knock with a 33-ball unbeaten 56 to complete the runcase after Evin Lewis (47 off 43) and Suryakumar Yadav (44) added 69 runs for the opening wicket.
Rohit shared 59 runs with Lewis for the second wicket before adding another 42 off 21 balls with Hardik Pandya to take the team home. Earlier, Raina (75 off 47 balls), who had missed a couple of matches due to a calf injury, smashed his way to an unbeaten 75 laced with six fours and four sixes after opener Ambati Rayudu set the foundation for Chennai with a 35-ball 46-run knock. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also chipped in with 26 off 21 balls which was studded three boundaries and a six but Mumbai Indians bowled well in the death overs to restrict them within 170 in the end. Mitchell McClenaghan (2/26) and Krunal Pandya (2/32) were the pick of the bowlers for Mumbai, while Hardik Pandya (1/39) also scalped one wicket.
Chasing 170 to win, Yadav and Lewis gave Mumbai a good start as they scored 50-0 in the first six overs. But Harbhajan Singh and Shane Watson then bowled a tight over each to put pressure on the Mumbai Indians and it resulted in the departure of Yadav, who tried to pull Harbhajan over deep midwicket but a brilliant catch by Ravindra Jadeja ended his innings. Lewis then smashed two sixes off Imran Tahir to pick up 16 runs in the next over and then sent Dwayne Bravo for a boundary to take the team across the 100-mark. In the 14th over, skipper Rohit Sharma joined the party and produced a one-handed six over long-off and then followed it up with sweep six over short fine leg off Watson.
However, Mumbai found it difficult to get boundaries and the mounting pressure saw Lewis top-edging a slower ball from Bravo as Mumbai lost their second wicket. Needing 42 runs from 24 balls, Hardik joined Rohit as the duo narrowed the target down to 22 runs off the last two overs after the newman blasted a six off Watson and a sloppy fielding at the boundary line earned Mumbai a four. Rohit finally blasted as many as four boundaries off the 19th over bowled by Shardul Thakur en route to his fifty as Mumbai needed just five off the last over. Hardik finally hit the winning runs. Earlier Put into bat, Rayudu gave a flying start to Chennai after opening his innings with a six off McClenaghan in the third ball.
His partner Shane Watson, however, couldn’t stay long as his attemped slog sweep off spinner Krunal landed on the safe hands of Mayank Markande at square leg. Raina then joined Rayudu and the duo blasted a six each to accumate 15 runs off the over as CSK scored 39-1 in 5 overs. The Mumbaikar then sent the ball soaring over the ropes and hit a four to take his team across the 50-mark in the powerplay overs. Raina sent Krunal across the ropes in the next over, before young spin sensation Markande was introduced and he bowled a tight over. Ben Cutting was next introduced into the attack and Rayudu smacked him over long-on, while Raina punched him across extra cover to accumulate 14 runs and complete their 50-run partnership.
Markande was next in line for Raina as he sent him for a boundary over his head before sending the ball sailing over long-on as CSK scored 91 for 1 off 10 overs. In the 12th over, Krunal dismissed the dangerous Rayudu when he tried to clear the ropes with a sweep shot but ended up hitting straight to Cutting at deep midwicket. Hero of CSK’s last match, skipper Dhoni then joined Raina in the middle as CSK crossed the 100-mark in the 13th over bowled by Bumrah, who gave just one run.
In the 15th over, Dhoni smashed Hardik for back-to-back boundaries and then slammed Markande for an inside-out shot across the cover boundaries before depositing him over long-on. Bumrah then came back for his second spell and Raina sent him across the short fine leg boundary and then flicked another one for another four to complete his half-century.
McClenaghan then returned to remove Dhoni, who ended up giving an easy catch to Evin Lewis at deep cover as CSK slipped to 143-3 in 17.1 overs. One ball later, newman Dwayne Bravo was also sent packing with Markande taking the catch at point. Raina then smashed Bumrah over deep midwicket to take CSK across the 150-mark. Sam Billing also tried to scrore big but ended up hitting straight to cutting at long-on. Eventually, Raina ended the innings with a six off the last ball.