Krunal Pandya was the finisher for Mumbai on Saturday    AFP
Krunal Pandya was the finisher for Mumbai on Saturday AFP

After the broadcasters consumed three hours trying for the ‘build up’ to 2018 Indian T20 League (they have been doing the same for two weeks), Mumbai were invited to bat first by Chennai. The return of Chennai, the resumption of Mumbai-Chennai rivalry, and the big swaps between both dugouts promised a mammoth clash at Wankhede Stadium. Amidst several twists and turns, Mumbai have managed a 165 for 4 in 20 overs.

MS Dhoni started the proceedings with Deepak Chahar. It seemed like Dhoni had heard Sunil Gavaskar’s pitch report: Gavaskar had mentioned that the surface had grass, and would offer something to the pacers initially.

Both Chahar and Shane Watson responded by removing the openers cheaply. Evin Lewis the 500th debutant of the tournament became the 58th player to fall for a duck in his first appearance. Rohit, on the other hand, fell prey to the seaming ball before being constantly troubled. He tried to brake the shackles, and got away with a few boundaries before being dismissed for 15. Chahar got Lewis and Watson removed Rohit.

From 20 for 2, Mumbai comfortably moved to 98 for 3 in 12.3 overs. Suryakumar Yadav batted with purpose and found the sweet part of the blade on most occasions. Ishan Kishan, at No. 3, was proactive and shuffled around the crease. He took on Imran Tahir, and was aided by some poor fielding from Chennai. Mumbai added 32 runs in 12 balls.

Dhoni resorted to Watson after Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo were erratic and Tahir was taken to the cleaners. Watson immediately removed Suryakumar for 43 with a short-pitched ball, and Kishan mistimed a slog off Tahir.

The run rate was curbed once Kishan and Yadav departed. The Pandya brothers replaced them, and Chennai slipped in 4 overs that cost 4, 11, 5 and 4 24 in all. Unfortunately, Mark Wood couldn’t replicate his success from national side and leaked runs in the death overs. Krunal punished him in particular while Hardik was content to play some cheeky shots.

Bravo deserves credit for restricting Mumbai to 165 and not getting away to 180. As always, he kept batsmen guessing with his slower deliveries and yorkers.

Brief Scores

Mumbai 165 for 4 in 20 overs (Ishan Kishan 40, Suryakumar Yadav 43, Krunal Pandya 41*; Shane Watson 2 for 29, Deepak Chahar 1 for 14, Dwayne Bravo 0 for 25) vs Chennai.