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Cricket | IPL

Levi makes immediate impact

Richard Levi made an immediate impact for the Mumbai Indians as his belligerent fifty helped his team to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over the Chennai Super Kings in their IPL match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday.

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Levi, making his debut for Mumbai, pummelled his way to 50 off 35 balls as the visitors, chasing Chennai’s 112 all out, cruised to 115 for two with 19 deliveries left in their innings.

Levi struck six fours and three sixes during his knock and brought up his first IPL half-century off just 34 deliveries.

But one delivery after reaching the landmark he was dismissed when he hoisted a ball from seamer Dwayne Bravo to long-off.

The 24-year-old Levi dominated a 69-run opening stand he shared with Sachin Tendulkar (16 retired hurt) and the South African was particularly strong on the leg-side with all of his sixes struck in that area of the field.

Rohit Sharma (0) was out one run later, caught behind off left-arm swing bowler Doug Bollinger before Tendulkar left the field with an injured finger after being struck on the glove by a short ball from the fiery Bollinger.

Tendulkar left the field with the score on 72 for two but James Franklin (25 not out) and Ambati Rayudu (18 not out) looked completely untroubled as they steered their team to an easy win.

Pragyan Ojha, Kieron Pollard and Lasith Malinga had earlier shared six wickets Mumbai bowled Chennai out in 19.5 overs.

Left-arm spinner Ojha captured 2-17 off four overs while medium-pacer Pollard nabbed 2-15 and paceman Lasith Malinga finished with 2-16 off 3.5 overs.

Chennai did not aid their cause with some poor running between the wickets with three of their batsmen being run out.

The hosts, after being asked to bat on a well-grassed pitch, found scoring difficult right from the start of the game and they only collected their first boundary in the fourth over courtesy of a six from the bat of Suresh Raina.

The defending champion Chennai battled their way to 38 for two before Raina and Bravo steadied the innings with an entertaining third-wicket stand of 37 off four overs.

But the left-handed Raina, after racing to 36 off 26 balls, holed out to deep extra cover off the bowling of Ojha.

Ojha, in his next over, had Bravo (19) caught at long-on before Chennai slumped to 85 for five when Albie Morkel (3) flicked a delivery from Pollard to deep square leg.

Pollard picked up his second wicket when Subramaniam Badrinath (10) flicked a delivery to midwicket before Malinga wrapped up the innings by bowling Ravindra Jadeja (3) and having Bollinger (3) caught at point.

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS – Murali Vijay, Subramaniam Badrinath, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel, MS Dhoni (capt, wk), Shadab Jakati, Ravi Ashwin, Doug Bollinger.

MUMBAI INDIANS – Sachin Tendulkar, Richard Levi, Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Kieron Pollard, James Franklin, Harbhajan Singh (capt), Lasith Malinga, Abu Nechim, Pragyan Ojha.


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