IPL 2021: Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians- Chennai wins in a thriller
We witnessed an ideal start to the second leg of IPL 2021 as the two most successful franchises in the league went head to head in a clash for the ages
The second leg of the Indian Premier League 2021 kicked off with a bang as the two most successful franchises in league history went head to head. The Dubai International Stadium was a sight to behold, with a sea of yellow and blue ensconced in the stadium.
Mumbai came into the game without the services of their mercurial captain Rohit Sharma, as he is still recovering from an injury he suffered at The Oval. Star All-Rounder Hardik Pandya also missed out due to reasons that are still unclear. Rohit is okay, he'll be fine, sooner rather than later. I'm just the captain for today. We started a couple of months back. Rohit misses out, and Hardik is not playing as well. Anmolpreet [Singh] makes his debut, that's about it, all others are regular players," temporary captain Kieron Pollard said in an interview with Star Sports at the toss.
The pitch seemed to be an ideal batting pitch, with the team who bats first winning significantly more games. CSK keeping this in mind, won the toss and chose to bat. "We will bat first, looks like a good wicket. Setting a target will be a better option. It's the same for everyone. I can't say if it's a good break or not. Once the tournament starts, you get into some sort of rhythm, but this season it's new and maybe us cricketers will start loving it. Seven games, then a break, and seven more. It comes down to how you play on that day in the shortest form. We'll try to do the basics right and focus on the process," Dhoni said in an interview with Star Sports at the toss.
CSK got off to a woeful start as Trent Boult, and Adam Milne had fiery spells that ended with the crucial scalps of Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni within the first six overs. This adverse situation had the CSK top order rocking before crucial innings by young star Ruturaj Gaikwad and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, whose partnership helped stabilize the game for Chennai. Gaikwad seemed to be in good form despite getting off to a slow start as he tore apart a good Mumbai bowling attack. The partnership ended with Bumrah in his 100th appearance picking up Jadeja's wicket as the stylish left-hander tried clearing the boundary only to hit it straight to Keiron Pollard. CSK were now under immense pressure to put up a fighting total with only three overs to go.
Chennai not surprisingly has been one of those teams who has managed to get good results when they have their backs against the wall more often than not. This time was no different as they fought back from a perilous position to a good total of 156 with the help of a massive 88 by Ruturaj Gaikwad, who saw them through to the end. Dwayne Bravo played a crucial cameo with 23 runs, hitting three massive sixes as he mauled the opposing attack before losing his wicket. The CSK bowling unit now had a task on their hands to defend this total against a premier Mumbai batting lineup despite lacking their captain and Hardik.
The Mumbai Indians got off to yet another fiery start as ace batsmen Quinton de Kock let loose and got a couple of quickfire boundaries to put pressure on the opposing bowling attack. Deepak Chahar came back with a peach of a delivery to get de Kock out on an lbw before the left-hander could do any more damage. Rookie batsmen Anmolepreet Singh picked up from where his opening partner left, as the stylish right-hander from Punjab carefully picked his spots and dissected the CSK bowling lineup. Deepak Chahar proved to be the ex-factor yet again, getting crucial wickets just as we see a batsman get going. The ace bowler took out Anmolpreet Singh with a slow delivery, knocking the bails off. Shardul Thakur soon joined in on the action as he picked up Suryakumar Yadav's wicket in his first over, proving his knack for taking wickets at important junctures.
Crucial wickets within the first six overs turned the tide for CSK as the Mumbai top order had to either crumble or respond to the additional pressure. Chennai was relentless in mounting the pressure, as both Hazlewood and Bravo struck, getting key scalps in Ishan Kishan and captain Kieron Pollard putting Mumbai in a challenging situation as they had a score of 91/5 going into the 15th over. The loss of captain Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Hardik Pandya hurt Mumbai as they struggled to be consistent without their calming presence. Saurabh Tiwari turned up big for Mumbai as he was the one constant source of runs for them in this game. A mix up between MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo gave Tiwari a new lease, and he made the most of it, securing an important partnership with Adam Milne to set up a nail-biting final over as they required 24 runs from 6 balls.
Dwayne Bravo wrapped the game up for CSK in the final over, picking up two wickets in the process. Chennai now sits comfortably on the top of the table as they carry their good form into the second leg, proving their championship credentials. The return of Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya cannot come sooner for Mumbai as they are now in danger of losing their playoffs spot to Rajasthan, who are two points behind in 5th place. What a start we have had to the second leg of IPL 2021! Going by the first game, we are sure to see many more belters in the course ofthe tournament.