You would expect MS Dhoni to use his spinners to great effect to control proceedings when there is a little bit of assistance in the pitch. You wouldn’t quite expect Ajinkya Rahane to smash a 19-ball half century on his Chennai Super Kings debut. It was a combination of the expected unexpected as CSK defeated Mumbai Indians in the league’s foremost rivalry on Saturday in Mumbai.
Jadeja’s 3-20 and a bludgeoning 61 by Ajinkya Rahane guided CSK to an emphatic seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.
Asked to bat first MI had a good start and a good finish but CSK controlled things in the middle. Tim David and Hrithik Shokeen helped Mumbai get to 157/8 while Ravindra Jadeja was superb for CSK.
A 27-ball 61 by Ajinkya Rahane, scoring nearly 75% of the runs CSK had scored when he got out, was the highlight of the run-chase as CSK won with 11 balls to spare.
Rahane made an impactful debut for Chennai with a fastest fifty this Indian Premier League season in 19 balls as the four-time winners achieved their victory target of 158 in 18.1 overs in Mumbai.
Coming one down after the fall of Devon Conway for a duck, Rahane tore into the Mumbai attack, which was without Jofra Archer after the England pace bowler was rested due to discomfort in his elbow.
Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma said Archer, who returned to the team in the previous match after missing last season, not playing was “just a precaution”.
Rohit said he would want five-time champions Mumbai to come out of the slump after losing their two matches this season.
Chennai’s England stars including Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali missed out due to injuries and South Africans Dwaine Pretorius and Sisanda Magala made the team.
But Jadeja made an impression with his left-arm spin as he got the key wickets of Ishan Kishan (32), Cameron Green, out for 12 after an excellent caught and bowled, and Tilak Varma (22).
Jadeja was ably supported by New Zealand left-arm orthodox Mitchell Santner, who returned figures of 2-28 including getting T20 sensation Suryakumar Yadav caught behind for one.
Tim David’s late cameo of 31 boosted Mumbai’s total but was still not enough to challenge the Chennai batting.
Rahane, who was signed by Chennai for his base price of $61,094 in the December auction, smashed seven fours and three sixes in his 27-ball blitz.
Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad made an unbeaten 40 to move to the top of the batting chart with 189 runs this season as he jumped over Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals - 152) and David Warner (Delhi Capitals - 158).
WIth AFP inputs