Suresh Raina © IANS (File Photo)
Suresh Raina top scored for Chennai with a breezy  © IANS (File Photo)


By R Vishal


May 28, 2014


Chennai Super Kings made lightweight of a massive score of 173 by Mumbai Indians and good knocks by almost all the top order batsmen chipped in with quick-fire cameos to kick the defending champions out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 in what turned out to be a revenge for last season’s tame defeat in the finals. Chennai cruised to a seven wicket win with eight balls to spare.


On a placid wicket Lendl Simmons continued his fine form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 and scored yet another fine half-century to propel Mumbai Indians to a competitive 173 for eight after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s  won the toss and elected to field first.


Dwayne Smith took no time to get things under way for Chennai with a a typical one-legged flick that reached the fence. Chennai was on the march right away. Faf du Plessis looked even more comfortable at the crease after Corey Anderson was given the new ball to bowl.


It was a wrong move from Rohit Sharma and it backfired straight away. Du Plessis came down the track to whack a boundary past mid-off and then the ball reached the deep-mid wicket fence with a ferocious pull shot. Then there was a loud leg-before appeal and it was turned down by the umpire. It was a good decision by Bruce Oxenford as the ball took a big inside edge.


Catches win matches is an old adage that has always proven to be true over the years. In a crunch tie, a knock-out tie like this, you don’t drop catches of a player of the caliber of du Plessis. The ball went high in the air and a mix up between harbhajan singh and Ambati Rayudu ensued and a golden chance to strike an early blow was lost as it fell in no-man’s land.


The South African willow-wielder was in full flow and there was huge six over deep-mid wicket and then went for a the same pull shot that reached the boundary. Dwayne Smith was in full cry against the pace of youngster Jasprit Bumrah. smith eased to three  consecutive boundaries of the over and the score raced to 60 for no loss in six overs. Just like his counterpart MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma also turned to his spinners and for wickets and he was immediately rewarded from the wrists of the wily old hands of Harbhajan Singh. Both batsmen fell in identical fashion. First Smith went big on the leg side but only found the massive palms of Kieron Pollard. du Plessis also departed playing an needless loft trying to clear the boundary.


McCullum went for a wild heave and perished too after he was caught outside his crease trying to go for a wild heave and was smartly stumped by Aditya Tare of the bowling of Pragyan Ojha. IPL is his battleground and Suresh Raina was easing along with his characteristic flicks and cuts to steady the chase.


David Hussey was giving company in the middle and he started very slowly. After carefully seeing things through in the early overs, Hussey clobbered two massive sixes and Raina smashed another six and the the target was in touching distance. Raina now has 400 runs in each of the IPL’s played so far and yet another fifty towards the end and finished things off with a stylish boundary. On this form, Chennai will hold all the aces in the upcoming knock-out games.


Brief scores:


Mumbai Indians 173 for 8 in 20 overs (Lendl Simmons 67, Michael Hussey 39, Corey Anderson 20; Mohit Sharma 3 for 42, Ravindra Jadeja 2 for 31) lost to Chennai Super Kings 176 for 3 in 18.4 overs (Faf du Plessis 35, Suresh Raina, David Hussey; Harbhajan Singh 2 for 27) by 7 wickets.


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(R Vishal is a journalist and alumni of Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)