Mumbai Indians defeated Chennai Super Kings on Friday night, crushing Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s hopes for a comeback in the competition.
Batting first, Kings XI Punjab made 114-9 in their quota of 20 overs. The final score came as a great relief to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose sides looked destined to earn the ignominy of scoring the lowest IPL total in its history.
CSK’s spectacular batting collapse began with the very first over when Trent Boult had Ruturaj Gaikwad trapped for LBW on the fifth ball of the match. The score became 3-2 in the second over after Ambati Rayudu threw his wicket away off Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling. Bumrah claimed Narayan Jagadeesan’s wicket in his subsequent delivery, reducing the CSK to 3-3 in two overs.
CSK fans may have expected Dhoni and experienced Faf du Plessis to pull off a miracle of sorts save their side from slipping into an utter disgrace. But this was not to be as the South African batsman gifted his wicket in the fourth over of the match when the team’s total was just 3. Dhoni hit Rahul Chahar for a huge six and showed some intent of his aggression, but he too couldn’t last long and was caught behind off Chahar in the seventh over of the match. His departure after Ravindra Jadeja’s silly attempt to hit for a four left the CSK reeling at 30-6.
Amidst an extraordinary batting collapse, it took young Sam Curran to play one of the best IPL knocks of his short career. He began to mix his aggression with intelligent short selection to steal ones and twos. Not only did it help him score his well-deserved fifty, but he was also able to add the much-needed respectability to his team’s total.
When the Mumbai Indians came to bat, they made their intent extremely clear as their opening batsmen namely Quinton de Kock and Ishan Kishan began to hit CSK bowlers all around the stadium. The four-time IPL champions sealed the match without losing any wicket and with 7.4 overs to spare.
Kishan remained unbeaten at 68 that he took 37 balls to score, de Kock was not out at 46 after facing 37 balls. Trent Boult was adjudged the Man Of The Match for his best IPL bowling figure.
Kieren Pollard, who was captaining Mumbai Indians in Rohit Sharma’s absence, said after the match, “It’s part and parcel of it, sometimes you don’t actually have to be a leader to be a leader, I know a thing or two. So it was just a matter of me stepping in and it came off tonight. It was just matter of making right decisions, not giving them freebies. We wanted to bowl them out under 100 but Sam batted well. I think it was a total team effort. Two-three wickets early puts you in the game and to get 4-5 is fantastic And then the openers going out and finishing off and not leaving any uncertainty was good. We want to finish top two and it’s a matter of getting the points and then think about the opponents. There’s always room for improvement, myself making some mistakes on the field, guys not being aware in certain situations. Maybe it’s no technical, but it’s things you need to speak about.”
Dhoni said, “It does hurt. What you need to see is what are the things that are going wrong. Especially this year, it hasn’t been our year. Whether you lose by 8 or 10 wickets, it hardly matters, but where we are at this stage of the tournament, it does hurt. What you need to see is where we actually went wrong, right from the second game. It was more about bowling. Rayudu got injured, the other batsman were maybe not there 200% and in cricket when you’re going through a tough phase, you need a bit of luck. The games we wanted to bat first, we haven’t won the toss, and there’s no dew and all of a sudden when we bat first there’s dew. Whenever you’re not doing well, there can be a 100 reasons, but one of the main things you ask yourself is whether you’ve got to the potential you’ve got no matter the conditions. When you put a good team on paper, have we done enough to back up the stats? And this year we haven’t. Cumulatively there have been batting failures. It’s part and parcel, you can’t always think the result will go your way. You try to do the toughest thing, even when you’re hurting, you try to smile and take it on the chin. I feel the boys have done that, they’ve tried to perform. I think it’s important for us to have a clear picture of next year. There are lots of ifs and buts – auction, where the venues will be. The coming three games will be an ideal opportunity to give platforms. See some of the youngsters in preparation for the next year. A few more who are on the bench will get games in the coming three games.”
It seems it’s a distant memory when the CSK had inflicted a 10-wicket defeat on Kings XI Punjab earlier in this year’s IPL competition. With today’s defeat, the CSK have now lost eight out of 11 matches that they’ve played so far in the competition.