Dhoni blasts Chennai to victory
Mahendra Singh Dhoni scorched to a wonderful fifty to propel the Chennai Super Kings to a 38-run victory over the Mumbai Indians in their IPL elimination match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Wednesday.
Dhoni blasted his way to 51 not out off 20 balls with six fours and two sixes as Chennai, after being asked to bat, posted a formidable 187 for five.
Mumbai’s run-chase never really got going and they could only muster 149 for nine with seamer Dwayne Bravo picking up 2-10 off three overs and Albie Morkel claiming 2-31 while left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati returned the economical figures of 1-25 off four overs.
The result means that Chennai will play the Delhi Daredevils in the final eliminator on Friday for the right to play the Kolkata Knight Riders in the final on Sunday.
The right-handed Dhoni struck the first ball that he faced for four before embarking on a superb display of power-hitting which included him smashing a 112-metre six, the biggest of this year’s tournament, off the bowling of left-arm seamer James Franklin.
Dhoni and Bravo put Mumbai’s bowlers to the sword with an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 73 off a mere 29 deliveries with Bravo more than playing his part as he ended not out on 33 off 14 balls with three fours and two sixes.
Chennai had been in early trouble as they slipped to one for two before Michael Hussey and Subramaniam Badrinath combined for a 94-run partnership to rescue the innings and provide a platform for Dhoni and Bravo’s late charge.
Hussey scored 49 off 39 balls with eight fours and a six while Badrinath weighed in with 47 off 39 deliveries with six fours and a six.
The pair batted for 12 overs in constructing their partnership and Badrinath was the initial aggressor although he played a few loose strokes at the start of his innings.
Hussey took some time to find his feet and only scored his first run after nine balls but he proved to be the perfect foil to Badrinath before the Australian left-hander upped his scoring in the second part of the innings.
Badrinath was the first to depart when he hoisted a delivery from medium-pacer Kieron Pollard to the fielder at long-on before Hussey was caught at deep square leg off the bowling of Franklin.
Ravi Jadeja (1) did not last long before being dismissed by seamer Dhawal Kulkarni but Dhoni and Bravo ensured that 73 runs were scored off the last five overs.
Kulkarni had been responsible for Mumbai’s fine start in the field and he struck with his first delivery when he had Murali Vijay (1) caught behind at first slip by Rohit Sharma.
With his next ball Kulkarni bowled Suresh Raina (0) off an inside edge after an attempted drive from the left-handed batsman as the bowler ended with figures of 3-46 off four overs.
Mumbai made a good start to their run-chase thanks to an opening stand of 47 off five overs between Sachin Tendulkar (11) and Dwayne Smith.
But Tendulkar (11) was run out at the bowler’s end after a mix-up with Smith to start a mini-collapse which saw Mumbai slip to 77 for four.
Smith had looked in inspired form as he raced to 38 off 22 balls before he sliced a delivery from Jakati to Jadeja at midwicket before Morkel had Dinesh Karthik (6) caught behind.
Morkel struck in his next over when he had Rohit Sharma (14) caught by keeper Dhoni before Franklin and Ambati Rayudu (11) showed some fight before the right-handed Rayudu holed out to deep midwicket off the bowling of off-spinner Ravi Ashwin.
Franklin then departed for 13 when he under-edged a delivery from seamer Bravo through to Dhoni as Mumbai’s challenge faded away despite 16 from Pollard and 17 from Lasith Malinga.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS – Murali Vijay, Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt, wk), Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel, Subramaniam Badrinath, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ben Hilfenhaus, Shadab Jakati.
MUMBAI INDIANS – Sachin Tendulkar, Dwayne Smith, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik (wk), James Franklin, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh (capt), Lasith Malinga, RP Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni.