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

Ashish Peter 26/04/2019
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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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IPL 2019 Fantasy: Sanju Samson and David Warner among top picks for Rajasthan vs SRH

Ashish Peter 26/04/2019
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Rajasthan's Sanju Samson. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

The 2019 Indian Premier League season heads into match 45 with the Rajasthan Royals set to host Sunrisers Hyderabad in Saturday’s sole fixture.

As fans, watching the action is not the only thing to look forward to – IPL fantasy games mean you have the opportunity to get involved as well.

As the IPL’s official partner, Dream11 runs a daily contest for each game apart from the default format which is conducted per round.

Here, we focus on helping you navigate your way through the former.

BATSMAN

David Warner – Sunrisers Hyderabad (11.5 credits)

It would be foolish to look past the leading run-scorer in the 2019 IPL campaign with David Warner in scorching form following his return after a one-year absence.

The Australia opener has left the rest of the batsmen in the competition in his wake by racking up 574 runs at a sensational average of 71.75 while maintaining a strike-rate of over 146.

Only twice in his 10 innings so far has Warner failed to breach the 50-run barrier and he comes into the clash on the back of five successive fifties under his belt.

His IPL stint will be coming to an end soon as well and as such, the southpaw will be determined to swell that run-tally before he enters World Cup mode.

BOWLER

Shreyas Gopal – Rajasthan Royals (9 credits)

While Sunrisers have No1 ranked T20 bowler Rashid Khan at their disposal, it is the Rajasthan leg-spinner who gets our nod due to his better numbers so far in the 2019 campaign.

The 25-year-old has been a revelation this season and has been the only Rajasthan bowler apart from Jofra Archer who has been able to hold his own. Gopal has picked up three more wickets (13) than Rashid this year although he has been slightly more expensive than his SRH counterpart.

With the benefit of playing on his home track, the leggie is primed to outshine the Afghan star once again and could bamboozle a few SRH batsmen with his lethal googlies.

ALL-ROUNDER

Shakib Al Hasan – Sunrisers Hyderabad (8.5 credits)

Opportunities have been few and far in between for Bangladesh star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan in the 2019 edition but there is only so long until the cream eventually rises to the top.

Shakib has not featured at all in the Hyderabad playing XI since their campaign opener against KKR until their most recent clash, but the departure of England’s Jonny Bairstow has given a new lease of life to his prospects.

The left-hander made his 2019 bow in SRH’s most recent outing against CSK where he was highly economical (0-27) with the ball despite failing to bag a wicket.

The Bangladesh man can always be relied to contribute in all three departments and Saturday’s clash might just be his chance to make a big impact.

Shakib is a reliable performer. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Shakib is a reliable performer. Image – BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

WICKETKEEPER

Sanju Samson – Rajasthan Royals (9 credits)

With Bairstow’s maiden IPL stint having come to an end, Rajasthan’s Sanju Samson is a straightforward pick for the wicketkeeper’s slot.

The Kerala-born man has been guilty of throwing away several promising starts this year but when on song, it is hard for bowlers to contain him as his superb ton against the same opponent in the reverse fixture showed.

The right-hander struck 10 boundaries and four sixes in his unbeaten innings of 102 and was unfortunate to still end up on the losing side. Samson’s talent with the bat has never been in doubt ever since he broke out as a youngster at the same franchise and he will be determined to put together one big innings to make up for previous disappointments.

CAPTAIN – David Warner

VICE-CAPTAIN – Sanju Samson

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Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan looking for crucial victory before international stars depart

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David Warner is the leading run-scorer in IPL 2019.

In a sign of how tight the playoff race for IPL 2019 is, Sunrisers Hyderabad were surging back into contention after two straight wins but a loss in their last outing, against Chennai Super Kings, has them sweating over their place in the top four ahead of Saturday’s clash against Rajasthan Royals.

The Royals themselves are hanging on by a thread, but got a crucial victory over Kolkata Knight Riders to move to within two points of Sunrisers.

Both sides have lost key players to international duty and are set to lose more, but for now, there’s a crunch game to prepare for.

SUNRISERS NEED TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF WARNER’S REMAINING INNINGS

The departure of Jonny Bairstow heaps even more pressure on David Warner, this season’s leading run-scorer so far. Sunrisers’ batting has struggled beyond the top two, while Vijay Shankar, the team’s third-leading scorer, has an average of only 20.

Warner is also set to leave soon to link up with the Australia squad, so he’ll want to finish his tournament on a high. But the onus is on the rest of the batsman to make sure that regardless of their star opener’s form, they can play around him while he’s still with the team and take up the mantle of leading the Sunrisers’ lineup once he’s gone.

Kane Williamson will partly fill the void left by the departing Warner and Bairstow, and Manish Pandey’s unbeaten 83 in the previous game was a welcome innings. Players like Shankar, Deepak Hooda, and Shakib al Hasan now also need to come to the fore.

CAN RAJASTHAN STRING TWO WINS TOGETHER?

Rajasthan have pulled off some excellent wins this season – twice against Mumbai Indians, and their most recent result against KKR – but their inability to put together a run of victories has hurt their playoff hopes. The Royals have yet to win even two games in a row.

Saturday’s game is the perfect time to bring that record to an end. With Rajasthan one of three teams tied on eight points and two behind a spot in the top four, a victory would add pressure on their rivals, at a stage of the season where every game feels like a must-win for the chasing pack.

They’ve done well in recent games, riding the hot hand of 17-year-old Riyan Parag. But they, too, are set to lose players – Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer have left and Steve Smith will follow soon – so building some momentum is a must.

LIKELY XIs

Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson (wk), Steve Smith (c), Ashton Turner, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas, Jaydev Unadkat, Ish Sodhi

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Kane Williamson (c), Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shakib al Hasan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma,

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