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Friday, October 22, 2021

CSK vs MI: Raina gets quick relief; Bumrah’s unhappy 100; Bravo on song

After posting 156/6 in the first innings, Chennai Super Kings defeated reigning champions Mumbai Indians by 20 runs in the IPL 2021's first match of the UAE leg.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: September 20, 2021 7:51:58 am
Chennai Super Kings' Suresh Raina in action against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021. (IPL)

Chinna Thala left hopping and huffing

It was relief that screamed on Suresh Raina’s face after he mis-sliced what looked like a jailbreak attempt to escape his six-ball torment. The stroke was hideous (to understate it). Raina just backed away, all three stumps in full view, and just slammed his bat at the ball, in hope that it would somehow miss everything, or like two balls before, brush his edge to the boundary. But this ball was fuller and shaping away from him. He was perhaps anticipating a short ball. The blind slash ballooned airily into the point’s hands, putting an end to his misery. The previous five balls were Raina-Down-Under throwback, where his old weakness against the short-pitch ball into his body was ruthlessly re-examined. He was hopping and hustling at the crease. He seemed genuinely spooked out, and in the end, it was relief that his mental agony was not prolonged.

— Sandip G

Jiving Bravo puts on the dancing shoes

The dancing feet of Dwayne Bravo danced again. The Trinidadian’s batting had been quite awry in the last few editions, but this time, he seems to have rediscovered his mojo, the rhythm of his feet, the swirl of his hands, and the rhyme of his batting, as if he was dancing to the tune of soca or reggae in his head. Just the second ball he faced, off 90mph-er Adam Milne, he twinkled out of the crease, the feet gliding towards the ball, then away from it, each stride a measured stanza of athletic finesse, inside-out, his front-knee crouching, back-knee arching, his body beautifully stilled, his arms flexing, the wrists twirling the ball somewhere into the distant Dubai skies.

— Sandip G

Boom goes bust

Mumbai Indians’ Jasprit Bumrah in action against Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2021. (IPL)

Rarely does a batsman smear Jaspsit Bumrah over long-off. Ruturaj Gaikwad accomplished it, without straining a sinew. Bumrah floated a slower ball outside the off-stump, not the floaty, dipping devil that hoodwinked Shaun Marsh, but wide of the off-stumps, giving Gaikwad the room to swing his arms through the line. A neat, fluid swing of the blade and the ball floated into the stands, after alluring the boundary riders for a majority of its journey. Gaikwad could not believe what he had achieved, as the ball wafted into the stands, he gaped his mouth in disbelief and looked genuinely in trance. For the majority of the innings, his batting looked as if in a trance too. It’s not every day that a batsman metes out such treatment to Bumrah.

— Sandip G


Deepak Chahar was not to be denied. Quinton de Kock’s pads were always going to be targets of tracer bullet deliveries given his LBW counts, but he seemed to be negotiating them near full-length balls with some confidence. In his opening over, Chahar curved one back in, then jutted one out like an outcrop. Start of second, the South African would use his wrists deftly to drive past mid-on. But all that scrambling came to nought as Chahar sent down one full, to middling-off as the ball looped back chasing the stumps. Quinny tried again to turn it through leg side. Chahar appealed and was so sure he had his man, he kept running straight through to the skipper. Umpire Illingworth didn’t oblige, Dhoni sought a review even as Chahar was still heaving, with gnashing conviction. Ball tracking echoed him. A knuckleball would claim Anmolpreet in the next as the forehead vein popping bowler did another screaming told-you-so.

— Shivani Naik

A Clockwork Yellow

Chennai Super Kings’ MS Dhoni celebrates the fall of a wicket with his teammates against Mumbai Indians. (IPL)

10th over of the MI innings, CSK has been wicketless for close to 4 overs. A partnership is shaping, always a dangerous sign when defending a modest total. Dhoni needs a breakthrough. Hazelwood has bowled 2 overs, the T20 captain’s manual says the strike bowlers can be brought in for one over. Ravindra Jadeja hasn’t yet started; he can be trusted to build pressure and force a mistake. What does Dhoni do? None of the two, he throws the ball to Bravo. On his second ball, he gets Ishan Kishan to drive into the hands of Suresh Raina at short cover. Jadeja rushes to lift Raina in the air, Bravo is flying around like an airplane with his hands spread like wings, an expressionless captain walking towards his excited foot soldiers. That’s so CSK. That’s so Dhoni. That’s so Bravo. That’s so Raina-Jadeja. That’s so nostalgic.

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