IPL – Match review: Chennai Superkings Vs Mumbai Indians

Yesterday was the first home match for the Chennai Superkings. It was against the mighty Mumbai Indians. Sachin was not playing, so that was a disappointment. On a dewy outfield, bowling was always going to be a problem. So when Bhajji won the toss he opted to field first hoping that the dew would affect more in the second innings. However, Dhoni was a bit more practical and in the end, correct when he said that the dew was so heavy from the start that both sides would be equally affected by it. MS believed that his batting packed team did favour the batting first strategy.

Hayden played a really fine innings, 81 off 46 . He was ably supported by Raina 53 (54b) and even Dhoni joined the party 30 (16b). Some poor bowling, bowling changes, wides saw CSK reach 208-5. A controversial “Not Walking” gesture from Hayden drew some criticism, but I think other wise. will put a post on it some other time. Bhajji underbowled himself, Kulkarni and Pollock, all of whom were looking good. Instead he tossed the ball to inexperienced Yeligati & Nayar who went for 30 off 2.

It was always going to be tough for MI and with wickets falling early, (Ronchi, Jayasuriya) it was always going to be difficult. Many cameos from Uthappa, Pollock , Bravo were always giving MI hope , but they were always falling behind the reqd rate. However the real gem of an innings came from Abhishek Nayar 45 (20b) who with Harbhajan really turned it on for the Mumbai team. With runs reducing from 75 in 5 overs, to 62 in 4 , to 41 in 3, to 28 in 2, to 19 in 1 over, the game was wide open. And then the ball was thrown to none other than Joginder Sharma. Nayar hit him for two fours. It was 11 off 4 balls. Then came, what I believe the turning point in the game. Joginder bowled a no-ball and Nayar hit the ball to point and took a single. This brought Nehra to strike! Clear inexperience was shown by Nayar. It was 4 needed from 9 balls, a free hit and Nehra to face the ball. He did not make contact with it and managed only a single off the next ball. 8 off 2 balls. Nayar was on strike and Sharma dished out a perfect yorker, no run. It was over….

One of the most closely fought matches till now in IPL. CSK were triumphant, Hayden the MoM. Mumbai lacked the spirit and if I may suggest, a good captain. However, the Superkings will have to look back on their bowling…

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