IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians hand CSK first home defeat as skipper Rohit finally comes to the party

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A captain's knock from Rohit Sharma. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

Chennai Super Kings perfect home record in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign came to an end as Mumbai Indians emerged victors by 46 runs at the Chepauk Stadium on Friday.

With MS Dhoni missing the clash with a fever, it was Suresh Raina who led the defending champions but the stand-in skipper could do nothing as CSK were bowled out for their lowest ever IPL total on their home ground.

Skipper Rohit Sharma’s maiden IPL 2019 half-century helped the visitors post a challenging 155-4 after batting first. It proved to be a winning total by some distance as Chennai were bundled out for just 109 runs. Lasith Malinga was the pick of the bowlers for Mumbai, picking up 4-37,

With the win, Mumbai moved to second spot in the table with 14 points from 12 games. Leaders Chennai remain at the top but their play-off qualification confirmation will have to wait another match at least.

CAPTAIN ROHIT FINALLY FIRES

It had been an indifferent IPL campaign leading up to the clash for Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma who had failed to register a single half-century despite returning to his favoured opening slot.

On Friday, the right-hander looked in imperious touch as he gave the visitors a formidable start. Despite Quinton de Kock falling early, Rohit kept Mumbai on the front foot with a 75-run stand for the second wicket along with Evin Lewis.

Announcing his intentions with two sixes off Harbhajan in the same over, Rohit brought up his maiden IPL 2019 half-century off 37 balls. On a pitch where spinners were finding plenty of joy, the Mumbai skipper looked in control and was looking good for more before his innings was brought to an end by the excellent Mitchell Santner.

SANTNER HAS A FIELD DAY

The Chepauk Stadium had been a spinner’s paradise throughout this IPL and it was no surprise to see the slower bowlers thrive once again on Friday.

However, while it had been veteran Imran Tahir and Harbhajan Singh who had done the bulk of the damage previously for CSK, it was the turn of Mitchell Santner to come to the fore against Mumbai.

The New Zealand left-arm spinner extracted prodigious turn from the surface to tie the batsmen in knots with run-scoring against him proving almost impossible.

With Rohit and Lewis threatening to take the game away from Chennai, Santner struck at just the right time to remove both the batsmen in quick succession. With the ball gripping and spinning substantially, the Kiwi provide to be a tough nut to crack with just one boundary and 13 runs in total coming off his four overs.

A fine display from Santner. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

A fine display from Santner. Image – @IPL/Twitter.

MUMBAI LEFT-ARM SPINNERS TURNS TABLE ON DHONI-LESS CSK

Taking cue form Santner’s excellent display, it was the turn of Mumbai’s left-arm spinners to flourish in the second innings with Krunal Pandya being the architect-in-chief of CSK’s downfall.

Chennai’s chase started off on the wrong note with Shane Watson and Suresh Raina falling cheaply to Malinga and Hardik Pandya respectively. It only got worse for the hosts once the spinners came on with Krunal on the money. The left-arm spinner outfoxed Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav to break Chennai’s back before fellow left-armer Anukul Roy provided the icing on the cake.

The former India U17 World Cup winning left-arm spinner picked up the wicket of Dhruv Shorey on his IPL debut to leave Mumbai reeling at 66-6. That left CSK with a mountain to climb and with world-class bowlers like Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah bowling at the death, there was simply no way back.

The failed chase showed the value of MS Dhoni to the defending champions with the veteran’s calm head in the middle-order being sorely missed.

BRIEF SCORES

Mumbai Indians: 155-4

Rohit Sharma: 67 (48)

Mitchell Santner: 2-13

Chennai Super Kings: 109 all out

Lasith Malinga: 4-37

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