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IPL-2024: Chennai Super Kings overcame Mumbai Indians in a hard fought contest

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Chennai Super Kings overcame Mumbai Indians in a hard fought contest that saw a number of remarkable individual contributions on either side. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shivam Dube hit fifties for CSK while MS Dhoni marked his presence at the end. For Mumbai Rohit Sharma smashed a ton but it was Matheesha Pathirana’s four-wicket haul that turned out to be a big difference-maker.

Up against a power-packed batting line-up, CSK’s chance of a comeback lay in picking up wickets. Their best bet was slinger Pathirana, who had replaced Maheesh Theekshana for this game. Pathirana made immediate impact coming in in the eighth over first getting Ishan Kishan to clip to the midwicket fielder. A ball later, he had Suryakumar Yadav caught at third man where Mustafizur Rahman did exceptionally well to keep his balance and the ball in the play.

The wickets, particularly the first one, came at a much-needed juncture after Rohit and Kishan had put on 70 in the first-seven overs. But Pathirana wasn’t done with just that. He came back at the death and bagged both of MI’s big-hitters – Tim David and Romario Shepherd – which robbed them off crucial boundaries at the back-end.Rohit had seen through the innings from the first ball, first setting the ball rolling inside the powerplay with some innovative batting that put pressure on the likes of Mustafizur and Ravindra Jadeja.

Through the middle overs, he managed to stitch together a crucial 60-run stand with Tilak Varma after that wobble. But with Pathirana striking once again through the end overs, MI fell behind even as Rohit collected a hundred in the final over. With MI needing 77 off the last six overs, Shardul Thakur and Tushar Deshpande found the cutters into the pitch highly effective.

The duo bowled two overs for just five runs even with Rohit Sharma batting in the 70s. Thakur also accounted for the wicket of Hardik Pandya in the period, making the equation even tougher and putting pressure on the batters to follow with CSK managing the follow-up overs adeptly.

For CSK, the batting innings progressed on a more even course with a final take-off elevating them furtherCSK opted to throw up a surprise by changing up their batting order. Ajinkya Rahane came up to open instead of Ruturaj Gaikwad. Rahane, a designated pace-hitter, threw a spade in the works for MI who then opted to open with the offspin of Mohammad Nabi. The change-up however did not bring about the desired impact for CSK. Rahane lasted just eight balls before he chipped a catch off Gerald Coetzee.

However Ruturaj came in next and got going straightaway hitting Coetzee for two fours and a six. The powerplay saw CSK get 48 but lose a wicket. Rachin Ravindra’s promise did not last long as he was out caught behind on review against Shreyas Gopal. But this brought in Shivam Dube alongside Gaikwad who was finding his feet. With spin now being taken out of the attack given Dube’s reputation as a spin hitter, the middle-order batter unleashed other skills.

He started off by picking three boundaries off Pandya and then two more off Romario Shepherd. Gaikwad, meanwhile, worked his way to his 16th IPL fifty and set up the innings for a big finish. Dube carted Shepherd for back-to-back sixes and a four as the duo picked up 22 in an over to up the ante before Akash Madhwal was meted out similar treatment as Dube raced to a 28-ball fifty.

The 90-run stand from the duo helped CSK maintain a good run-rate through the middle overs but it threatened to come undone at the death when they lost a couple of wickets. Gaikwad holed out against his counterpart Pandya after a 40-ball 69 while Daryl Mitchell struggled to match the tempo from the get-go, hitting only one boundary in a 14-ball 17. As he became Pandya’s second wicket in the final over, CSK were in danger of finishing well before 200. However, MS Dhoni walked in and turned back the clock smashing a hat-trick of sixes as Pandya missed his lengths woefully. His four-ball 20* powered CSK past 200 and eventually proved to be the decisive margin of victory.

Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 206/4 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 69, Shivam Dube 66*) beat Mumbai Indians 186/6 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 105*; Matheesha Pathirana 4-28) by 20 runs

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