Chennai Super Kings won the toss and opted to bowl first. They came up with an excellent effort in the field to restrict Mumbai Indians to 139/8. Matheesha Pathirana was outstanding with figures of 3/15, while Deepak Chahar and Tushar Deshpande chipped in with two wickets each. CSK needed only 17.4 overs to get home in the chase.
MI sent in Cameron Green to open with Ishan Kishan instead of skipper Rohit Sharma. The move did not pay dividends as all of the abovementioned names fell cheaply. Green (6) was knocked over by Deshpande as he attempted a heave. Kishan (7) miscued a big hit off Chahar, while Rohit fell for a duck in bizarre fashion. He attempted a scoop against Chahar, but the ball hit the shoulder of the bat and then lobbed up towards point for a simple catch.
Suryakumar Yadav looked good for his 26 before being cleaned up by Ravindra Jadeja. Nehal Wadhera (64 off 51) gave the innings some direction, hitting eight fours and a six in his impressive knock, which ended when he was knocked over by Pathirana. The CSK pacer also dismissed Tristan Stubbs (20) and Arshad Khan (1), while Tim David (2) failed in his endeavor to take on Deshpande.
In the chase, Devon Conway (44 off 42) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (30 off 16) added 46 in 4.1 overs. The brisk stand ended when Gaikwad skied a big hit off Piyush Chawla. Ajinkya Rahane chipped in with 21 before being trapped lbw by Chawla. Ambati Rayudu (12) registered another failure after which Conway fell Akash Madhwal. Shivam Dube remained unbeaten on 26 off 18, while MS Dhoni came in and hit the winning runs.
Speaking after winning the game, Dhoni said, “It was a very crucial game for a simple reason, if you see the points table there's a muddle in the middle. Last few games the results have not gone in our favour and so it is good to be on the winning side.”
On the decision to bowl first, he admitted, “I was doubtful with the decision at the toss, I wanted to bat first but the think tank thought about the rain, I was slightly outnumbered and so we went with the majority. If there is some kind of a confusion then we sit and talk about it. I felt the wicket will slow down and that was the reason behind it, and even if rain comes then the majority of the game would have been done.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent