A ruthless powerplay partnership between Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith helped the Chennai Super Kings maintain their perfect start to the current IPL campaign. The Super Kings sealed a six-wicket victory over the Mumbai Indians, who remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
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Despite winning the toss and electing to bat, Mumbai could not have made a much worse start; Parthiv Patel falling LBW to the first ball he faced. But, that brought one of the side’s danger men Corey Anderson to the crease. However, a fantastic catch from Faf Du Plessis meant that the New Zealander’s stay out in the middle was a short one.
And they were soon in deeper trouble as Lendl Simmons was also caught by Du Plessis, without adding much to the scorecard – it was just 12/3 when the West Indian went.
Perhaps aware of the way the game was going, coach Ricky Ponting sprung a surprise by sending spin bowler Harbhajan Singh in at five. The experiment looked like it may just work as they passed 50 before losing another wicket. When Singh was out, it brought Kieron Pollard out to the middle alongside Rohit Sharma.
The pair breathed some life into the innings, adding 75 whilst together and helping the table’s bottom side from a desperate situation to a very defendable total.
It could have been much worse as well had it not been for Dwayne Bravo, who managed to take two wickets in the final over and restrict the home side to 183.
Chennai’s opening partnership of Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum would soon make the total look well short of a par score, smashing 90 in the first six overs. The New Zealand captain would bring up the team’s 100 with an incredible piece of innovation, shuffling across his crease and hitting a scoop shot off that looped over the boundary for a maximum.
By the time McCullum was out in the eighth over, the pair had brought the required run-rate down from over nine runs per over, to less than a run a ball.
The wickets of Smith, Du Plessis, and MS Dhoni came too late for Mumbai. Suresh Raina scored an unbeaten 43, before Bravo clubbed a six to seal the win with 20 balls to spare – keeping the Super Kings right on the tails of the early pace-setters Rajasthan Royals.