Chennai Super Kings made a winning start to the second phase of the Indian Premier League as they defeated Mumbai Indians by 20 runs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, on Sunday.
CSK skipper MS Dhoni decided to bat first after winning the toss on a slow pitch.
But the Men in Yellow were on the ropes as they lost four wickets for 24 runs at the end of the powerplay overs with Adam Milne and Trent Boult taking two scalps each. However, Ruturaj Gaikwad was able to hold one end up and timed the ball to perfection.
The right-hander had a rub on the green on his side when Quinton de Kock dropped a catch when the CSK opener was on 19 runs. CSK then added 69 runs in the final five overs as Gaikwad finished with 88 from 58 balls whereas Dwayne Bravo played a nice little cameo of 8-ball 23.
Gaikwad scored nine fours and four sixes as he batted at the top of his game. The right-hander switched gears in the final five overs and got runs against the likes of Boult and Bumrah.
At 24-4, Dhoni thought getting to 140 would be an exceptional job but Gaikwad’s brilliance with the bat help them propel to 156 runs.
On the other hand, Chennai was able to strike at regular intervals to keep Mumbai batsmen at bay in the run-chase. The reigning champions were playing without Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya and it made it difficult for them to change gears after a poor start.
MS Dhoni said in the post-match presentation, “I think at 30/4, you want to get something respectable on the board and Ruturaj and Bravo got us more than what we expected. We had to bat exceptionally to get to 140, but to get to 160 was tremendous. The wicket was slightly two-paced and slow to start off with. Most of them got out to the slowness. If you come later and you want to go hard and that’s why we lost wickets. I would have tried to get into the eighth or ninth over and then take it from there”.
He added, “You always think you could have gone harder earlier, but with wickets down, it was a risk. There’s always a catch, one batter played till the end and the others contributed well. It’s a give and takes, you need to see how many fast bowlers have in the armory and how much time they take to bowl their overs. If a fast bowler has a long run-up or wastes a lot of time, it is tough for the captains. It depends on the situation. Rayudu was smiling, so he hasn’t broken his arm. He has four days now and that should help him”.
CSK will next face RCB in Sharjah on 24th September.