A debutant and an old hand produced a wonderful duet as Chennai Super Kings consigned Mumbai Indians to their second consecutive defeat in the IPL 2023 at their home den — Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.
If Ravindra Jadeja was the mastermind behind restricting MI to 157 for 8, Ajinkya Rahane made the fastest fifty of this IPL, off 19-ball no less, to orchestrate their 7-wicket victory.
Let’s take a peep at Rahane’s innings first as it was played by a batsman who often bats in the realms of convention. But on this night, Rahane came out in the yellow jersey of CSK for the first time, and underwent a Clark Kent to Superman-like transition.
Homeboy Rahane slays Mumbai for Chennai
The mayhem started when Rahane played a swivel-pull off pacer Jason Behrendorff for a six but that proved just the welcome drink.
Rahane unfurled his full range against left-arm pacer Arshad Khan, who were carted around for a six and four fours in successive balls as 23 runs cascaded in the 4th over. A MI bowling attack sans Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah was simply incapable of stopping Rahane’s onslaught.
By the time, Rahane bottom-edged Piyush Chawla to Suryakumar Yadav at deep for a 27-ball 61 (7x4, 3x6), CSK had moved ever so close to a win, their second of IPL 2023.
Jadeja spins a web around MI batters
However, the Super Kings should thank Jadeja’s left-arm spin for restricting Mumbai for a sub-par score. There might have been a tad bite in the pitch but none to force the batters to go circumspect.
In fact, MI had begun their innings brightly as skipper Rohit Sharma and his opening partner Ishan Kishan took them to 38 in the 4th over before the former departed.
But that did not slow down MI’s progress as Kishan took them 61 for 1at the end of the Power Play segment. It was a superb launching pad. But the introduction of Jadeja changed the whole landscape of the match.
Jadeja dismissed Kishan, Cameron Green and Tilak Varma to shake the foundation of MI batting, and they hardly recovered as there was no troubleshooter in their roster. The continued low-scoring ways of Suryakumar Yadav, who fell to left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, will bring a few wrinkles on the forehead for MI management.
CSK had their own worry when pacer Deepak Chahar had to limp out with a left hamstring strain after bowling just one over.
But the Yellow Band found resources and determination to overcome those barricades.
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