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IPL: Chennai Super Kings Beat Mumbai Indians By 7 Wickets (11 Balls Left)

Ravindra Jadeja claimed 3/20 to break Mumbai Indians back and Ajinkya Rahane then slammed the fastest fifty of the 2023 season off 19 deliveries as Chennai Super Kings thrashed archrivals in their own den for a seven-wicket win in Match 12 of the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede Stadium, here on Saturday.

Jadeja was brilliant in the execution of his plans as he bowled a fine length and line to claim the prized scalps of Ishan Kishan (32), Cameron Green (12), and Tilak Varma (22) and Santner bagged the wickets of the struggling Suryakumar Yadav (1) and Arshad Khan (2) and with Mitchell Santner and Tushar Deshpande claiming two wickets apiece, Chennai restricted Mumbai Indians for a below-par 157/8 in 20 overs.

Rahane then came to the party as the 34-year-old, playing his first match for Chennai Super Kings, slammed 61 off 27 deliveries, proving that there was still a lot of bite left in the old dog, even though CSK roped him at his base price of Rs 50 lakh in the mini-auction while players with 1/10th of his experience and skills bagged contracts worth crores.

Rahane blasted the fastest half-century of IPL 2023 off 19 deliveries and put CSK on road to victory in their chase of a modest target of 158. Ruturaj Gaikwad played a patient knock of 40 not out, batting through the innings while Rahane went for his shots, scoring 61 off 27 deliveries as CSK reached 159/3 in 18.1 overs after their bowlers had done a brilliant job to restrict Mumbai Indians to 157/8 in their 20 overs after Dhoni had won the toss and asked Mumbai Indians to bat first.

In their chase of a modest target, Chennai Super Kings suffered an early setback when opener Devon Conway fell for a duck, bowled inside edging onto his stumps as he pushed at a back-of-length delivery from Jason Behrendorff, the Aussie pacer claiming the New Zealand batter off the fourth delivery of his first over.

Dhoni pulled a rabbit out of his hat as he sent Rahane to bat and the India Test stalwart did not disappoint his skipper. He launched Behrendorff over the rope with a superb pull shot as the Aussie pacer erred in length and then meted out the same treatment to Arshad Khan, who went down the leg side with a full-length delivery.

The 34-year-old Rahane feasted on Arshad Khan’s bowling in the fourth over. After hitting the six, he cut a wide one through point, tapped the next delivery to the boundary past the third man, and then scorched another cut shot past cover for three successive fours off Arshad Khan. And when Arshad came around the wicket for the last two deliveries of that eventful over, Rahne straight-drove him for the fifth boundary of the over (4 fours and 1 six). He ended the over with a single for 23 runs.

In the next over, Rahane smacked a pull off his hips for a six off Cameron Green and reached the fastest fifty of IPL 2023 by hammering Piyush Chawla for boundaries off successive deliveries. He struck Chawla for his seventh boundary of the night before lofting the seasoned leg-break bowler straight to Suryakumar Yadav, completing the shot with the bottom part of his bat as the ball came in a bit slow.

Rahane’s 61-run knock came off 27 balls and put CSK on course to victory as he and Ruturaj Gaikwad added 81 runs for the second wicket stand. Thanks to his blitzkrieg, CSK scored 68/1 in the Power-play and were 97/2 at the halfway stage. Mumbai Indians were 84/5 after 10 overs.

While Rahane was out, Gaikwad continued to hold the fort as he played patient innings as he batted through for an unbeaten 40 off 36 deliveries, hitting two fours and one six as he guided CSK to 159/3 in 18.1 overs) and a seven-wicket victory.

A clash between Mumbai Indians, who have won the IPL five times, and Chennai Super Kings, four-time winners, is usually a tough encounter for both teams but clinical bowling by the CSK bowlers led by Jadeja made it a one-sided contest on Saturday.

It did not look like that when Tushar Deshpande made the breakthrough for Chennai Super Kings when he sent Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma’s stumps cartwheeling with a superb inswinger for 21 and then had Tim David, who had hammered him for 18 runs in the 17th over for two sixes and a four, holing out in the outfield for 31.

Hrithik Shokeen (18 not out) and Piyush Chawla (5 not out) added 26 runs off 18 balls towards the end as Mumbai managed to cross the 150-run mark.

Four of Mumbai Indians’ batters got decent starts but could not convert them into big innings, it appeared they wanted to blast their way out of trouble which proved futile.

Asked to bat first, Mumbai Indians got off to a dismal start as skipper Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan managed to raise 38 runs for the opening stand. Rohit (21) started with a four off Deepak Chahar over extra cover and then sliced the same bowler over mid-off for another boundary. Rohit also struck Tushar Deshpande over point for a boundary but was troubled by his Mumbai Ranji teammate, who missed the inside edge with a good outswinger and beat him again a ball later with another outswinger.

Rohit responded by hammering a short one from Deshpande over point for a flat six but the bowler had the last laugh as he castled the India skipper with an angled delivery that skidded in late and squared up Rohit to breach the defense. It was entertaining cricket between a top-class batter and a fine bowler but it did not last long and Mumbai were reduced to 38/1 in the fourth over.

That wicket by Deshpande was crucial as CSK suffered a massive blow in the very first over of the game with fast bowler Deepak Chahar leaving the field owing to an injury to his hamstring.

Rohit’s wicket started the slide for Mumbai Indians as Ishan Kishan departed soon after the Power-play as Mumbai slumped to 64/2 in the 7th over. They could not recover from those early setbacks as Cameron Green, Suryakumar Yadav, Tristan Stubbs, and Arshad Khan got out without scoring much.

Tilak Varma too failed to work his magic, as he did in their opening match against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians ended with a total that was too difficult to defend.

Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 157/8 in 2o overs (Ishan Kishan 32, Tim David 31; Ravindra Jadeja 3-20, Mitchell Santner 2-28, Tushar Deshpande 2-31) lost to Chennai Super Kings 159/3 in 18.1 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 61, Ruturaj Gaikwad 40 not out; Jason Behrendorff 1-24) by 7 wickets.

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