By BV Swagath
Defending Champions Chennai Super Kings eliminated Mumbai Indians with a superb 38-run win at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Chasing a high target of 188, Mumbai Indians choked literally as their key batsmen perished playing the big shots under pressure. All the Mumbai Indians could get was 149 for 9 with the match heading towards a one-sided finish from the 14th over itself despite the presence of Kieron Pollard.
Mumbai Indians got off to a good start of 47 for 1 in 5 overs. Dwayne Smith (38 from 22 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes) looked dangerous until he got caught at point in an ugly heave against the turn of left-armer Shadab Jakati in the 7th over. After Smith’s exit, Mumbai Indians lost the plot completely as it lost four key batsmen one after with three of them attempting the big hits but finding the fielders. When Rohit Sharma edged a big shot off Albie Morkel to MS Dhoni, half of the match was over for Mumbai Indians at 77 for 4 in 10.1 overs.
The next big fish for CSK to contend with was Kieron Pollard but the big man was left alone with plenty of runs to get from very few deliveries. In the last five overs, Mumbai Indians needed as many as 76 to win with just three wickets left! It was an unimaginable task for Kieron Pollard who perished after a weak 19- ball 16. All the CSK bowlers did a fine job by getting amongst the wickets. Dwayne Bravo did a good finishing job with the ball as well taking 2 for 10 in 3 overs.
Chennai Super Kings post 187/5
Chennai Super Kings seemed to be down and out when they were rocked with consecutive wickets in the second over at 2 for 1 in their Eliminator Match against Mumbai Indians. Most of their first half saw Mumbai Indians completely the choke the runs but a brilliant fightback from S Badrinath (47 from 39 balls with 6 fours and a six) and Michael Hussey (49 from 39 balls with 8 fours and a six) provided the CSK with a launching pad towards a good total. In the end, Skipper MS Dhoni (51* from 20 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes) and Dwayne Bravo (33* from 14 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes) produced outstanding knocks to lift CSK to a formidable total of 187 for 5!
Harbhajan Singh began the proceedings by bowling a tight first over following which Dhawal Kulkarni took two wickets in consecutive deliveries in the 2nd over to put CSK on the backfoot. Kulkarni got Murali Vijay edging his cover drive to slip and in the next ball had Suresh Raina dragging a tentative drive onto the stumps. As a result of that double blow, CSK struggled along in their innings and by the end of the 10th over were just 61 for 2!
CSK were still heading towards a modest total but the last two overs were taken for 19 runs each which proved to be the huge difference thanks to the brilliance of Dhoni and Bravo.
Toss and Teams Update:
Mumbai Indians have won the toss and asked Chennai Super Kings to bat first in the Eliminator Match of IPL 5 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. It’s a virtual Quarter-Final with the losing team out of the tournament and the winning side will have to meet the Delhi Daredevils day after tomorrow in the 2nd Qualifier Match.
CSK who are extremely lucky to be at Bangalore for this match because of RCB’s shock defeat to DC have made a couple of changes to their line-up. The experienced S Badrinath comes in for the injured S Anirudha while left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati replaces Yo Mahesh.
Mumbai Indians have gone in with the same side that defeated Rajasthan Royals in the last league match.
Chennai Super Kings: M Vijay, MEK Hussey, SK Raina, MS Dhoni (Captain and Wicket Keeper), S Badrinath , DJ Bravo, RA Jadeja, JA Morkel, R Ashwin, BW Hilfenhaus, SB Jakati
Mumbai Indians: DR Smith, SR Tendulkar, RG Sharma, KD Karthik (Wicket Keeper), AT Rayudu, JEC Franklin, KA Pollard, Harbhajan Singh (Captain), SL Malinga, RP Singh, DS Kulkarni