The great M S Dhoni turned back the clock to script a three wicket victory for Chennai Super Kings against Mumbai Indians in the IPL on Thursday, following a heart-stopping finish that saw him hit a four off the last ball of the game. CSK pacer Mukesh Choudhary wreaked havoc with the new ball before Tilak Varma’s responsible 51 not out off 43 lifted Mumbai Indians to 155 for seven. Dhoni (28 not out off 13) batted like the finisher of his hey days to help CSK get the required 17 runs off the final over to win their second game of the season and extend Mumbai Indians winless streak this season to seven games. He smashed a six and four off third and fourth ball off Jaydev Unadkat before maintaining his calm to put one past short-fine leg for the match-winning boundary, leaving the bowler and the rest of his Mumbai teammates shattered. CSK were up against it with 48 runs off the last 24 balls and four wickets in hand but Dhoni with the help of Dwaine Pretorius (22 off 14 balls) ensured his team got over the line in an absolute humdinger.
With seven losses in as many games, Mumbai Indians will need a miracle to come back from this position while it was a much needed win for CSK who too are looking for consistency after enduring a poor start to the season. Earlier, Choudhary (3/19) accounted for Rohit Sharma (0) and Ishan Kishan (0) in the first over and then dismissed Dewald Brewis (4), leaving Mumbai reeling at 23/3.
However, Varma’s unbeaten 51 off 43 balls, in which he struck three fours and two sixes, along with Unadkat’s blazing unbeaten 19, helped Mumbai cross the 150 run-mark.
While Rohit offered an easy catch to Mitchell Santner at mid-on, Kishan was undone by a swinging yorker, which rattled his off-stump.
Brewis (4) became Choudhary’s third victim. Brewis tried to chase a delivery outside the off stump, but ended up nicking to Dhoni. Suryakumar Yadav (32) started with a boundary, an on drive. He creamed another drive off Choudhary and then launched into mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana (1/35), sweeping him for a maximum. Mumbai were at 42/3 after the power-play.
But it was Mitchell Santner (1/16), who dismissed Surya, whose sweep was easily caught by Choudhary at long-leg and Mumbai were reduced to 47/4.
Then Tilak and debutant Hrithik Shokeen (25), tried to rally the innings, but managed to add only 41 runs for the fifth wicket. The duo was brutal on Ravindra Jadeja (0/30), who bled 13 runs in the 11th over, with Varma hitting a six with a slog-sweep.
Mumbai lost half their side for 85. Shokeen, who had three boundaries, top-edged a Dwayne Bravo (2/36) short-ball only to be caught at Robin Uthappa at mid-on.
Wickets kept tumbling for Mumbai with Kieron Pollard (14) and Daniel Sams (5) also falling cheaply.
But thanks to a quick-fire 35-run eight-wicket stand off 16 balls between Tilak and Unadkat, Mumbai gave their bowlers something to defend.
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