Chennai Super Kings finally breached Mumbai Indians’ home fortress after 10 games by inflicting the defending champions a four-wicket defeat with Dwayne Smith and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni leading the charge in a thrilling IPL match at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday.
Chasing 158 for a victory, Chennai rode on in-form opener Smith’s 51-ball 57 and significant contributions from Faf de Plessis (31) and Dhoni (22 not out of 12 balls) to make 160 for six in 19.3 overs to end Mumbai’s superb winning streak which went back to the beginning of last season.
Chennai skipper Dhoni struck a six and a four in the last over bowled by Kieron Pollard to guide the visitors home after they needed 17 off the last two overs and 11 in final over.
This was Chennai’s seventh victory from ninth games and they caught up with Kings XI Punjab on 14 points but with one less game in hand.
After today’s defeat, Mumbai, who had got their campaign back on track with back-to-back victories at this venue after five straight defeats in the UAE, went a step closer to elimination from the play-offs and they now need to win all their remaining games to avoid it.
Chennai commenced their run chase at a slightly slower rate as compared to the hosts, making 38 for 1 at the end of the first six overs of power play.
Smith started off in blazing fashion by hitting Praveen Kumar for two fours in the opening over.
Brendon McCullum (13) followed suit at the other end when he carted Jasprit Bumrah for a six over the straight field and a four with a cut shot, before playing across to Kumar to be trapped leg before the wicket.
It was a blow to Chennai as the opening wicket duo had been the fulcrum of their big scores this season.
Suresh Raina (19) looked in good nick though he was dropped at third man by substitute fielder Apoorv Wankhede off Bumraj when on five. However, the hosts did not have too long to wait for his dismissal as he was stumped off a wide ball down the leg from Pollard to leave Chennai at a tricky 56 for 2 in the eighth over.
Smith then upped the tempo by striking a four and a huge six over the straight field off his West Indian compatriot Pollard to help Chennai reach 75 for 2 after 10 overs.
The partnership of 63 in 46 balls between Smith and du Plessis was ended when Smith tried to repeat his six over mid wicket off Praveen Kumar and was caught in the deep. The dismissal of du Plessis, yorked by Lasith Malinga, 10 runs later at 129 raised Mumbai’s hopes.
The hosts were a bit unlucky when Ravindra Jadeja escaped after a strong and confident shout for leg before off the first ball he faced from Malinga. But, he played onto the stumps against the same bowler later.
Mithun Manhas was continued…