Mumbai Indians (MI) maintained their perfect recent record in Chennai and entered the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with consummate ease. It was business as usual for Rohit Sharma and his men. They bowled with remarkable skill and variety to make batting a steep mountain-crawl for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). When they batted, it looked like all the demons in the pitch had vanished. In the end, MI cruised to a four-wicket win and to the final.
Mumbai’s Spinners Shine
MS Dhoni won the toss as he usually does (this is his 11th toss win in 15 matches in this IPL). He chose to bat first. Mumbai had gone in with three spinners: leg spinner Rahul Chahar, off-spinner Jayant Yadav and left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya.
Rohit Sharma employed the spinners in the power play itself and reaped the rewards. CSK were down to 32 for three by the end of the power play. MI bowlers kept their stranglehold even after power play. M. Vijay and Ambati Rayudu strung together a partnership of 32 runs, but it took them 37 balls.
After Vijay’s dismissal, MS Dhoni joined Rayudu. But even Dhoni struggled to break the shackles. He managed to hit three isolated sixes, but could not impart his usual momentum to the scoring. He remained not out on 37 and Rayudu on 42. Chennai Super Kings managed just 131 for four. In fact, the match had been lost then and there.
Suryakumar Yadav Leads the Chase
Chennai Super Kings took a couple of quick wickets to draw cheer from their supporters. But Mumbai’s batsmen were unfazed. Suryakumar Yadav sizzled in the company of Ishan Kishan. They did not find any menace on the pitch, or in the CSK bowling.
Yadav scored an unbeaten 71 off 54 balls, with the help of 10 boundaries. He did offer a couple of difficult chances during his stay; however, Chennai’s fielders grassed both the offerings. Mumbai Indians won the match in the 19th over by losing just four wickets, with nine balls to spare.
Rohit Sharma was all praise of both his batsmen and bowlers. He said:
“It was a great effort and it’s a great feeling to be knowing we will be in the final. Three good days to switch off. It’s a much needed break for us. I knew we had the bowlers to restrict them and I had the confidence in the batters. It’s important to restrict them to as low as possible, given the spin bowlers they have.”
In the second playoffs match today, Delhi Capitals will take on Hyderabad Sunrisers.