What a match it would have been for Mumbai Indians as they were to stand victorious in the opening game of Indian Premier League against Chennai Super Kings. It was a great day for the youth squad to come into the show and steal it away from CSK. For a team that is led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni always has to be the favourites and they were up against the defending champions of Indian Premier League 2017, Mumbai Indians. Rohit led Mumbai Indians started to topple from the beginning but thanks to two promising youngsters, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, held the helm of Mumbai’s ship and guided them to a decent total of 165 runs in 20 overs after losing the toss and being sent to bat first.
A swashbuckling late-hitting blitz by Krunal Pandya (41 off 22 balls), coupled with the middle-over shenanigans by Suryakumar Yadav (43 off 28 balls) and Ishan Kishan (40 off 29 balls) lifted Mumbai to a competitive 4-165 in 20 overs.
This happened after MS Dhoni won the toss and had no hesitation in fielding first. Watson started well in the first over, beating Rohit Sharma’s edge multiple times. But it was uncapped Deepak Chahar (1-14 in 3 overs) who landed a body-blow by removing Evin Lewis for a duck.
The 78 runs partnership put up by Yadav and Kishan, helped Mumbai to reach 100 runs mark without much hassle and then both of them were gone in quick succession. After that, the Pandya brothers held it for Mumbai Indians even when Hardik picked up an injury, they successfully managed to get the scoreboard read 165 runs for the loss of four wickets. Any score against the star thudded Chennai Super Kings is too small because of the class batting order they have and to chase down 165 runs, didn’t look much of a task for the WhistlePodu team. A late charge from Krunal Pandya was derailed by outstanding death bowling by Dwayne Bravo and the Men in Blue finally finished with 165 in 20 overs.
As the second innings of the game started, Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson came to bat for Chennai. They started off well with boundaries coming at regular intervals but things went downhill with Watson’s wicket. Raina came to defend the batting line up but soon he was gone too, Ravindra Jadeja followed him back to the pavilion in no time. Dhoni arrived to the crease and fans everywhere screaming his name out loud but he couldn’t hold it either for Chennai as debutante Mayank Markhande, looked one of the contenders for the Man of the Match award, outsmarted him. It was till the 16th over in Chennai’s innings, Mumbaikars were beginning to celebrate their first win of the season with Harbhajan Singh also failed to impress the crowd. Then all the limelight was on Dwayne Bravo, who till then couldn’t have connected the ball with his bat’s sweet spot. But with seven towering sixes and three fours, Bravo changed the game with his excellent knock of 68 runs just in 30 balls. He was believed to see Chennai through the finishing line but he got out in the last ball of the 19th over, leaving the retired hurt Kedhar Jadhav to come back on the crease. Mustafizur Rahman came in to bowl the 20th over in Chennai’s innings and Chennai needed 7 runs of 6 balls. After three dots in the first two balls, Kedhar Jadhav sweeped for a six that tied the score and then on the fifth ball he played a cover drive that went past the closed range fielders and went for a four. Chennai wins by 1 wicket in the opening match of the Indian Premier League.