The eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League got off to a spectacular start as Chennai Super Kings beat defending champions Mumbai Indians by one wicket with one ball to spare the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
Chennai all-rounder Dwayne Bravo hit 68 off just 30 deliveries with three boundaries and seven sixes as the Super Kings pulled off an improbable victory.
The Super Kings were 118 for eight in the 17th over and on the verge of defeat. But Bravo let loose, taking Mitchell McClenaghan (1-44) for two sixes and a four and death over specialist Jasprit Bumrah (1-37) for three sixes to take the Super Kings to the verge of victory.
Injured batsman Kedar Jadhav then played out three dot balls in the final over from Mustafizur Rahman with seven runs needed before hitting a six and a boundary to seal victory.
Here are the talking points from the opening game of IPL 2018.
SURFACE TENSION IN MUMBAI
The wicket and Wankhede had more than usual covering of grass, which meant fast bowlers got to swing the new ball. Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma was missing deliveries by quite a few inches as Chennai seamer Deepak Chahar and Shane Watson got late movement in the air and off the pitch.
SPINNERS TAKE PRESSURE OFF
On a surface perfect for seamers, Chennai fielded three spinners and that turned out to be a poor move. Ishan Kishan hit the first three balls of leg-spinner Imran Tahir for two boundaries and a six in the 11th over. Suryakumar Yadav kept the scoring rate up from his end. He hit six boundaries and a six in his 29-ball 43 as he added 78 runs with Kishan (40).
KRUNAL TAKES OVER
Krunal Pandya targeted Chennai’s debutant quick Mark Wood. The seamer went from 0-13 in two overs to 49 in four overs all thanks to the hitting power of Krunal who finished with 41 not out off 22 balls with five boundaries and two sixes. His innings was crucial as his brother Hardik got hit on the foot once and injured it off the last ball of the innings as he struggled to up the scoring.
CHENNAI FALL APART
Mumbai Indians throw up another outstanding young Indian talent . They had Bumrah and the Pandya brothers before most had heard of them and now Markande. Great for the game. #MIvCSK— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) April 7, 2018
A target of 166 looked challenging but not beyond Chennai. However, Mumbai bowlers were all over Chennai from the start. Injured bowler Hardik removed Watson with a slower one and accounted for Suresh Raina before debutant leg-spinner Mayank Markande (3-23) picked up three wickets off googlies, including that of MS Dhoni. At 118-8, Chennai were down and out.
BRAVO, SUPER KINGS
However, West Indies all-rounder Bravo wasn’t done yet. He threw caution to the wind and went after Mumbai’s top seamers McClenaghan and Bumrah. Hitting three sixes off Bumrah was especially audacious as he is one of the best death bowler on the planet. Bravo got out with seven needed but the job was done.
Mumbai Indians leg-spinner Mayank Markande had a dream debut in the Indian Premier League as he finished with spectacular figures of 3-23 from his four overs in the opening match against Chennai Super Kings on Saturday.
Defending 166 at the Wankhede Stadium, Markande broke the back of Chennai’s batting as he got all three wickets through beautifully disguised googlies.
Markande got a wicket off his third delivery in IPL, getting Ambati Rayudu out lbw off a googly.
In his next over, Markande got the big fish as he hurried Chennai captain MS Dhoni with a wrong’un that caught the India captain on the back foot for a simple lbw decision.
And he finished a fine spell for Mumbai with a googly off his final ball as he got seamer Deepak Chahar stumped.
The 20-year-old from Punjab has shown wrist spinners with good googlies will always be valuable in T20 cricket.
All-rounder Krunal Pandya hit 41 not out off 22 deliveries as Mumbai Indians reached 165-4 against Chennai Super Kings in the opening match of IPL 2018.
On a wicket that had enough help for fast bowlers, Krunal provided a timely boost at the end of the innings to take Mumbai to a competitive total.
Here was take a look at the all-rounder’s batting effort on Saturday.
BALLS FACED: 22
STRIKE RATE: 186.3
The Mumbai all-rounder provided the perfect impetus at the end of the innings when Mumbai looked like getting somewhere close to 150. He targeted both sides of the field and took special liking to Chennai’s England pacer Mark Wood, hitting him for four boundaries and two sixes in his last two overs.
His attacking instincts made up for the below-par effort of brother Hardik who only managed 22 off 20 balls and injured his foot twice during the innings. Krunal was the man of the match for Mumbai in the 2017 final win and proved his worth again.
This is some innings from Krunal Pandya! Front foot and, especially, back foot.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 7, 2018
Targeted the strongest bowler in Chennai side – Wood. The English seamer’s first two overs went for 12 runs but by the time Krunal was done, Wood had gone for 49 runs in four overs on his IPL debut. Krunal also took pressure off Hardik.
If anything, he didn’t get enough runs in the final over. Mumbai were on 160 and could realistically have gone beyond 170. But credit must also be given to Dwayne Bravo who used all his experience to keep the scoring down to five runs.
The perfect start to the league for the Mumbai all-rounder who was the player of the match in last year’s victorious effort in the final. On a wicket where fast bowlers were getting a lot of help, he looked at ease. Worth every rupee for Mumbai.