Chennai Super Kings trump Mumbai as IPL gets underway
September 20 2020 01:13 AM
Chennai Super Kings’ Ambati Rayudu in action during the Indian Premier League opener against Mumbai
Chennai Super Kings’ Ambati Rayudu in action during the Indian Premier League opener against Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi yesterday. (IPL)

Agencies/ Abu Dhabi

The Indian Premier League’s (IPL) delayed season got off to a low-key start yesterday with three-time winners Chennai Super Kings beating defending champions Mumbai Indians by five wickets in the first match of the eight-team tournament in Abu Dhabi.
Chennai, having restricted Mumbai to 162-9, romped home with four deliveries to spare with Ambati Rayudu (71) and Faf du Plessis (58 not out) spearheading their chase.
The world’s richest Twenty20 league was originally scheduled to be played in India from March 29 but was rescheduled in the United Arab Emirates following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The usual carnival-like atmosphere, however, was missing in the contest which took place without spectators in the stands as a safety measure. Spilled catches and misfieldings indicated that the players, most of them featuring in competitive cricket for the first time in months, were not at their sharpest.
Put in to bat, Mumbai could not capitalise on the strong start they got from Quinton de Kock (33) and skipper Rohit Sharma (12) who fell in successive overs.
Du Plessis took two spectacular catches near the rope to send back Saurabh Tiwary (42) and Hardik Pandya (14) in the same Ravindra Jadeja over to peg back Mumbai.
Fellow South African Lungi Ngidi claimed three wickets, including that of the dangerous Kieron Pollard (18), as Mumbai managed only 41 runs in the last six overs, losing six wickets in the process.
Chennai, led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, lost both openers early but Rayudu kept their chase on track with his calculated aggression, while Du Plessis stayed put till victory was sealed.
“Batsmen didn’t carry on once they got in like Du Plessis and Raydu did. That’s something we failed to do. But credit to CSK bowlers, they kept us guessing all the time. Something for us to learn. Still early days, but credit to CSK. We all want to start really well, it’s crucial in this tournament to get that balance right,” Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma said.
This year’s matches will be held in bio-secure bubbles in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi in front of empty stands but organisers are hoping to allow some fans to attend during the later stages of the tournament, which will end on November 10.
“Normally we also train in summer. We were really eager. The surface was good. It was doing a bit with the new ball, but once the dew came in, it got easier. We practised in Chennai and Dubai. That really helped,” man of-the-match Rayudu said.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 162/9 (Saurabh Tiwary 42, Quinton de Kock 33; Lungi Ngidi 3/38) lost to Chennai Super Kings 166/5 (Ambati Rayudu 71, Faf du Plessis 58*; Trent Boult 1/23) by five wickets.

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