IPL 2021: MS Dhoni’s CSK kick-off second phase with win against Mumbai Indians, take pole position

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) kicked-off the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 on a winning note. The MS Dhoni-led unit secured a 20-run win against defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in Dubai on Sunday to climb at the top of the eight-team points table. They now have six wins from eight matches.  

Ruturaj Gaikwad emerged as the standout player from the CSK camp, leading the fightback for his side after a dismal start. The 24-year-old batsman finished the CSK innings unbeaten on 88 off 58 deliveries, which included 9 fours and 4 sixes. Riding on his brilliant effort CSK posted a challenging 156/6 in their 20 overs.  

In response, Mumbai kept losing wickets at regular intervals and could only manage 136/8 in their 20 overs. 

Mumbai began the chase on a slow note losing wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock in the third over after he was trapped LBW by Deepak Chahar on 17. Following the dismissal, Chahar went on to add another wicket to his tally as he cleaned up debutant Anmolpreet Singh on 16 off 14 balls.  

Shardul Thakur then joined the act and went on to dismiss Suryakumar Yadav on 3(7) in the seventh over. Two overs later, Dwayne Bravo got his first scalp of the match after packing Ishan Kishan on 11.

Skipper Kieron Pollard was trapped LBW on 15 off 14 balls by Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood, while Krunal Pandya got caught in a horrible mix-up, leading to his dismissal on 4.   

Adam Milne and Rahul Chahar were the final Mumbai batsmen to depart in the 20th over as Saurabh Tiwary’s unbeaten 50 off 40 ball went in vain.  

Initially it felt like CSK’s decision to bat first backfired as MI pacers Trent Boult and Milne pushed them on the backfoot right from the word go. The duo packed CSK opener Faf du Plessis and all-rounder Moeen Ali in the first two overs. Both the batsman failed to get off the mark.

What followed next was disaster for CSK as a short delivery by Milne struck Ambati Rayudu on the elbow in the second over, forcing him to retd hurt.

Boult then went on to inflict another blow as he dismissed Suresh Raina on 4, leaving CSK reeling at 7/3 after 3 overs. In the final delivery of the powerplay, Milne removed CSK skipper Dhoni on 3, who’s shot went straight to Boult standing close to the boundary ropes. After a terrible start, CSK managed to add 24 runs in the first six overs.   

Gaikwad, however, led the rescue act for CSK and found great support from Ravindra Jadeja. The pair added 81 runs for the fifth wicket. Dwayne Bravo then displayed some late blitz, scoring 23 runs from eight balls to power CSK to a respectable total.     

Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya rested

Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma was rested for the blockbuster clash. Pollard left many surprised when he walked up for the toss in place of the Mumbai opener, which was won by Dhoni, who opted to bat first. Apart from Rohit, all-rounder Hardik Pandya also was not named in the Mumbai Indians playing XI.

Sam Curran, who has proved to be a vital cog for the Yellow Army, is still in quarantine and was unavailable for selection.

Bumrah, Bravo complete respective centuries 

Jasprit Bumrah 100 IPL match

Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah made his 100th appearance for Mumbai, while Bravo did the same for Chennai. 

Bumrah became just the sixth player to reach the milestone. The seamer was presented a special jersey MI director Zaheer Khan with the number 100 written on it. 

Bravo, on the other hand, became the fourth CSK player after Dhoni, Raina and Jadeja to reach three-figure appearance for the Yellow Army.

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Sagar Biswas

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