Riding on an excellent bowling display by their spinners and a vital half-century from Suryakumar Yadav, Mumbai Indians prevailed by six wickets in the first Qualifier held at the Chepauk stadium.
Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar picked up two wickets as Chennai Super Kings were restricted to just 131-4 in their 20 overs after their skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first.
On a spinning surface at Chennai, Mumbai ultimately chased down the target with nine balls to spare to take one step closer to a record fourth title.
MUMBAI SPINNERS RUN RIOT IN POWERPLAY
Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma wasted no time in throwing spin at Chennai’s openers with Krunal Pandya coming on to bowl as early as the second over. That proved to be an excellent ploy for the visitors with the ball turning and gripping sharply on the pitch from the get go.
With the ball turning square, leg-spinner Rahul Chahar was the first to strike with Faf du Plessis perishing to a miscued cut shot. Just moments later, Mumbai landed another vital blow with the in-form Suresh Raina succumbing to an ambitious shot against off-spinner Jayant Yadav.
Just when CSK were looking to safely negotiate the powerplay without any further damage, Krunal struck with the final delivery of the sixth over to dismiss dangerman Shane Watson.
By reducing the hosts to 32-3 at the end of the powerplay, Mumbai had taken early control of the Qualifier.
RAYUDU, DHONI LEAD CSK FIGHTBACK
That the hosts ultimately recovered from that horror start to post 131-4 in the end was down to some sensible batting from Ambati Rayudu and skipper MS Dhoni who read the situation well and stabilised it.
Rayudu was extremely circumspect to start with on a turning track but soon grew in confidence following the arrival of Dhoni to the crease. It was Dhoni who showed more attacking intent with the veteran striking three sixes during his unbeaten stay while Rayudu was more content to keep rotating the strike and keep the runs ticking.
Together, the duo shared an unbeaten stand of 66 runs at the back-end which helped the hosts to ultimately post a competitive total of 131 on a very difficult pitch to bat on.
SURYAKUMAR YADAV AND KISHAN’s STAND PAVES FOR MUMBAI WIN
A chase of even 132 was going to be an extremely tricky one for Mumbai on a slow surface and that proved to be the case at the start with openers Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock falling early. However, just when CSK were starting to impose control, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan took charge for the visitors with the highest partnership of the match.
Their 80-run stand for the third wicket took the sting out of CSK’s bowling attack with the two batsmen negotiating the spinners expertly.
Imran Tahir did introduce a late twist in the tale by removing Kishan and Krunal Pandya off successive deliveries in the 14th over but it did little to provide the hosts any respite with Suryakumar bringing up a terrific half-century.
Yadav remained unbeaten on 71 (54) as Mumbai crossed the finish line with plenty of breathing room still to spare.
Chennai Super Kings: 131-4
Ambati Rayudu: 42 not out (37)
Rahul Chahar: 2-14
Mumbai Indians: 132-4
Suryakumar Yadav: 71 not out (54)
Know more about Sport360 Application