Mumbai Indians extended their stranglehold over Chennai Super Kings this season to reach the IPL 2019 final with a clinical victory, winning the first qualifier by a comprehensive six wickets as Suryakumar Yadav anchored the chase with 71 off 54 after the spinners set Mumbai up well.
It was their third win over CSK in three attempts this season, a record that underpins their status as the team to beat in IPL 2019.
Rahul Chahar starred for the Mumbai bowlers, with 2/14 in his four overs, and he was ably backed up by fellow spinners Jayant Yadav and Krunal Pandya.
CHENNAI BATSMEN FAIL THEIR TEST
On the eve of this game, a exam question set by a professor at IIT Madras, one of India’s most prestigious colleges, went viral, because it asked students to determine what Mahendra Singh Dhoni should do if he won the toss.
In the event, he chose to bat, but it’s likely that those students did a better job passing their test compared to Chennai’s batsmen on their home pitch. Mumbai’s spinners had yet to take a wicket in the powerplay all season, but ended with three after six overs on Tuesday.
Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu, and, to an extent, Murali Vijay were the only batsmen who gave a good account of themselves. Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, and Shane Watson combined for 21 runs in 31 balls – nearly the entire powerplay.
Meanwhile, spinners Chahar, Krunal Pandya, and Jayant Yadav – an inspired selection from Mumbai – managed 4/70 in their 11 overs.
Shout out to Professor Vignesh at @iitmadras for making exams relevant to important, real-life issues!— ICC (@ICC) May 6, 2019
Can anyone help @msdhoni and @ChennaiIPL make a decision before the toss tomorrow? (and show your workings 😜) pic.twitter.com/8fp7rGI5BG
SURYAKUMAR HITTING FORM AT THE PERFECT TIME
The final game of the league stage and the first game of the playoffs – not a bad time to start hitting form. Yadav followed his 27-ball 46 from Mumbai’s win over Kolkata Knight Riders with a calm, match-winning innings to put his side in the final.
It’s no coincidence that both knocks have come while chasing small scores – the ideal situation for a batsman. Mumbai’s target against KKR was 134, two runs more than it was on Tuesday.
This innings came with higher stakes, and on a tougher pitch. But Yadav carried the confidence and momentum from his previous innings to make sure there were no slip-ups from Mumbai.
He rode his luck, dropped once on 11 with Murali Vijay missing a tough catch in the outfield and again on 53 when Shane Watson put down a sharp chance at slip. And he made sure to take full toll.
Chennai Super Kings 131/4 (20 overs)
Ambati Rayudu 42* (37)
MS Dhoni 37* (29)
Rahul Chahar 2/14
Suryakumar Yadav 71* (54)
Ishan Kishan 28 (31)
Imran Tahir 2/33
Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni has called on his batsmen to improve their decision-making following his side’s six-wicket loss to Mumbai Indians in the first Qualifier of the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL).
CSK were able to muster just 131-4 on a spinning track after Dhoni elected to bat first but it proved to be no challenge for Mumbai who scaled the target with nine balls to spare.
Although Chennai still have the luxury of a second Qualifier to try and make it to the final, Dhoni has urged his batsmen to improve.
“At home, we had to assess the conditions quickly, we have played six to seven games on this pitch and should have read the pitch better, that’s the home advantage,” the CSK skipper lamented after the game.
“We needed to know how the pitch behaves, would it be tacky? Is the ball coming on or not, those were the things we didn’t do well today. I think the batting needs to get better. These are the best batsmen we have got and it looks like we are batting well, but at times, but in different games, they pull off shots that shouldn’t be played.
“These are the players who we have banked on, they have the experience and they should know to assess the conditions better, hopefully, we will do well in the next game.”
For finalists Mumbai, it was the third win of the campaign over Chennai with two of those victories now coming at the Chepauk stadium. Having taken one step closer to a record fourth IPL title, skipper Rohit Sharma stressed on the excellent balance in the side as the reason for their fine run.
“We’ve got a balanced squad,” Rohit stated.
“Whatever the conditions are, we’ve got the squad for them. We have the balance we need on any kind of pitch. Even the batters are confident in what they want to execute.
“That’s probably one of the reasons we’ve had some success in Chennai because we play the conditions well and understand the conditions well.”
Having failed to take advantage of home conditions, Chennai will now move on to Vizag where they will take on the loser of the Eliminator in the second Qualifier on May 10.
The winner of that clash will face Mumbai Indians in the final at Hyderabad on May 12.
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)