Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings locked horns with each other in the first qualifier of IPL 2019 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday (May 7).
CSK skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat first. MI spinners made life difficult for the home team on a turning Chepauk pitch. While Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya dismissed both the openers, Faf du Plessis (6) and Shane Watson (10), Jayant Yadav removed Suresh Raina for just 5 to left Chennai reeling at 32/3 in 6 overs.
The pair of Murali Vijay and Ambati Rayudu steadied the CSK sheep by adding 33 runs for the fourth wicket. Rahul Chahar broke the threatening partnership by removing Vijay (26 off 26 balls) which led to Dhoni’s arrival at the crease. The CSK captain along with Rayudu then took charge and accelerated the run-rate. The duo accumulated 15 runs from the 14th over off Jayant Yadav to get the ball rolling and took Chennai past the 100-run mark in the first delivery of the 18th over.
In the penultimate over, Dhoni once again showed why he is rated among the best batsmen in the slog overs. The CSK leader smashed Lasith Malinga for two successive sixes to accrue 15 runs from the 19th over while he and Rayudu hit Jasprit Bumrah for 9 runs in the final over the innings to help reach a respectable total of 131/4.
The duo stitched an unbeaten 66-run stand from 48 balls. While Dhoni finished with 37 not out off 29 balls, Rayudu scored 42* off 37 balls. For MI, Rahul Chahar was the stand-out bowler, claiming 2/14 in his 4 overs.
Cricket experts on Twitter were impressed with the way MI bowlers restricted the mighty CSK batting line-up under 150 despite Dhoni's late flourish.
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