The narrative of the IPL was written by the Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in most of the seasons. But this time around, both of them are in a spot of bother. For MI, it's all over long back as they have lost 9 games. The Chennai Super Kings have very little hope of making it into the playoffs this year. The path has been upsetting for the defending champions and their chances to enter the playoffs were very minimal.
Anyway, both the teams are capable of providing edge of the seat thrillers whenever they battle against each other. Thursday's match was hosted by Wankhede Stadium and Mumbai Indians won the toss and decided to bowl first. In a time when they are in an imperative state to have a good finishing in the series, the CSK opened the innings only to endure a disastrous batting. For the fans who were expecting a great opening stand against Mumbai, the major rival of the CSK, what they saw was stunning havoc in the batting line-up.
CSK were unlucky that they had to lose the wicket of Devon Conway in a very unusual way, being unable to go for the DRS due to the 'lack of power supply' in the stadium. They kept losing wickets back to back and at one point they were 39 for 6, losing all their top-order batsmen. Yes, CSK had lost major wickets within the mandatory powerplay. However, when Dhoni was in the crease, the fans hoped for a rescuing, if not a relishing, knock from the captain.
Dhoni and Bravo tried to get a hold but Bravo's dismissal made sure that there is no hope of getting back. Dhoni fought a lone battle, scoring 36 runs but the CSK could make only 97 runs in 16 overs losing all their wickets, except Dhoni. He was the last man standing with no supportive partner. Had the team got a perfect partnership, Dhoni would have taken the team to at least 120 with four overs left. But, CSK had put only 97 runs on the board, which was indeed hard to defend.
98 was going to be a very easy target for the Mumbai Indians but they lost some quick wickets in the beginning. The wickets of Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan shook them a little and at one point in time, they lost 4 wickets for 33 runs, which gave a sight for the CSK a possibility of defending the low target. Mukesh Choudhary bowled really well picking up 3 wickets. Just when the CSK fans began their celebrations, Tilak Varma and Hrithik Shokeen rescued their team by playing sensibly.
It finally took only 14.5 overs for the Mumbai Indians to clinch a victory against their arch-rivals by 5 wickets. It was a nail-biting start and an impressive finish for the Mumbai Indians, and though they are still at the bottom of the table, they had a respite by defeating the CSK and paying the latter back for their defeat in the previous match. With the loss against Mumbai, it's official that CSK's race has come to an end and it is out of the series. CSK has two matches left and even if they win both of them, they can only be able to get positioned as one of the last ranking teams.
As Mumbai has knocked out Chennai from the series, Dhoni has admitted that it was difficult to defend a low score. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Dhoni said, "Irrespective of how the wicket is, anything below 130 is difficult to defend, but what I asked the bowlers was to show a lot of character and forget about the result. Both the young fast bowlers bowled really well and I feel a game like this really helps them in believing in themselves that irrespective of the conditions, whenever we start we need to have the same kind of attitude and that's what is needed in the shortest format. "
He further said, "We have gone through periods where we never really had that extraordinary bench of fast bowlers. Also, fast bowlers, they take their time to mature, if you are lucky you get somebody who can feature in all formats in six months' time and that is what IPL is doing and it is an opportunity for a lot of them. They bowl a bit courageous now which is very important in a format like this. And some players take their time before executing their plans better. The fast bowlers, to have both of them (Mukesh and Simarjeet) really well is a big positive, and also we will have two more fast bowlers coming in to the next season, also we have a few more up the sleeves, just want to give ample time for them to prepare."
"It's the first few deliveries which are important when you are batting under that kind of pressure, so it was a chance of survival, Once they are past those first few deliveries, they can be themselves. It didn't pay off today but I think they bowled really well. A bit of application was needed from our side, and a few of the batters got out on good deliveries, hopefully, they are learning with each and every game", he added. CSK will be taking on Gujarat Titans on May 15- Sunday.