IPL 2021 - CSK pull it back after top-order collapse, beat MI by 20 runs; move to top of the table

Chennai Super Kings beat Mumbai Indians by 20 runs in the 30th game of IPL 2021 courtesy Ruturaj Gaikwad's unbeaten 88 runs. CSK move to top of the points table with six wins from eight games in IPL 2021.


Brief Scores: CSK 156 for 6 (Gaikwad 88*, Milne 2/21) beat MI 136 for 8 (Tiwary 50*, D Bravo 3/25) by 20 runs

IPL 2021, CSK vs MI Highlights: CSK beat MI by 20 runs in 30th match of IPL 2021, Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 88* runs for CSK.
CSK beat MI by 20 runs and move to top of the table. (Image: ©Wisden/Twitter)

After the Indian Premier League 2021 had started right on schedule this year in April 2021, it had to be called off in May after 29 matches were played until further notice due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting across India.


It resumed on Sunday, September 19, 2021 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the marquee clash between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indian (MI) with fans being allowed back into the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. This encounter has earned the name of El Classico of the Indian Premier League over the years.


CSK was ranked number 2 in the points table with 5 wins in 7 matches while MI stood at the fourth position with 4 wins in 7 matches in this year’s tournament.


MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat

The pitch at Dubai International Stadium has always worked in favour of both batters and bowlers. It is usually a good track to bat on with more help for pacers and negligible help for spinners. With hot and humid temperatures in Dubai and no chance of rain, there is not much importance of the toss. Either you bat first or you bowl first, the pitch behaves the same through the 40 overs.


MS Dhoni’s CSK won the toss and elected to bat first. For Chennai, Sam Curran was not available for selection due to mandatory quarantine while on the other hand for Mumbai, their captain Rohit Sharma and one of the best all-rounders of their squad, Hardik Pandya had to sit out due to injury.


“I can't say if it's a good break or not. Once a tournament starts, you get into some sort of rhythm but this season, it's new and maybe us cricketers will start loving it. Seven games, then a break, and seven more. It comes down to how you play on that day in the shortest form. We'll try to do the basics right and focus on the process,” said MS Dhoni, CSK captain on the toss.


Chennai Super Kings Playing XI - Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood.


“We weren't so sure, so happy that I lost the toss. Rohit is okay, he'll be fine sooner rather than later, I'm just the captain for today. We started a couple of months back, and we were just starting to build the momentum with a couple of wins,” said Kieran Pollard, MI captain, at the toss.


Mumbai Indians Playing XI - Quinton de Kock (w), Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Kieron Pollard (c), Saurabh Tiwary, Krunal Pandya, Adam Milne, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult.


Boult, Milne destroy CSK top-order, have them at 24/4

In the first six overs of powerplay, the New Zealand pacer duo of Trent Boult and Adam Milne demolished Chennai's top order and reduced them to only 24/4. The pacers bowled a tight and length and were swinging the ball both ways.


After the fall of four wickets in the six overs, Ravindra Jadeja came into the crease to support and build a partnership with Ruturaj Gaikwad, who held one end up, so that they could post a respectable score to defend for their side.


Gaikwad and Jadeja combined well to build a partnership of 81 runs. They played exceptionally well in this partnership. They both respected the good balls and punished the loose balls. After the dismissal of Jadeja, Dwane Bravo scored a quickfire 23 runs from eight balls.


Chennai Super Kings scored 156 runs in 20 overs with the loss of six wickets. CSK lost four wickets in the first six overs and only two wickets in the next 14 overs. Ruturaj Gaikwad scored an unbeaten 88 runs off 58 balls which included nine fours and four sixes. This is the highest score for Gaikwad in IPL so far.


For Mumbai Indians, pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Adam Mline took two wickets each and except Mline the other two pacers conceded more than 30 runs in their four-over spell.


Read More: Statistical Review - IPL 2021 – Dhawan Orange Cap holder (380 runs), Patel leads with 17 wickets


Dhoni’s astute captaincy aided by restrictive bowling by CSK does the trick

While defending 157 runs, the Chennai bowlers were on the top from the first ball. They troubled all the Mumbai Indians batsman throughout the 20 overs of their batting. Saurabh Tiwary scored an unbeaten 50 but it was not enough to win the match for Mumbai as it came at an excruciatingly depressing strike rate of 125.


None of the other batters were able to press the pedal when it was needed of them to do so with the nail in the coffin struck by Josh Hazlewood when he got MI captain Kieron Pollard plumb in front in the 14th over with their score at 87/5. It was just a matter of how many runs will be the margin of victory for CSK from that point of time.


Mumbai Indians were restricted to 136 runs with the loss of eight wickets in their 20 overs of batting. For Chennai, Dwayne Bravo and Deepak Chahar were stars with bowling figures of 4-0-25-3 and 4-0-19-2 respectively.


“We must have got a partnership. You can do a lot of things differently in hindsight. Losing by 20 runs, I think that is the difference. Gave too many with the ball in the end. Their batters tried to continue the momentum throughout, we didn't do that,” said Kieran Pollard in the post-match presentation.


“We could have learnt from their mistake of losing too many wickets in the powerplay. We needed one guy to bat deep. We had a couple of soft dismissals. We can't let that happen at this level,” he added.


The winning captain MS Dhoni said, “I think at 30/4 (24/4), you want to get something respectable on the board and Ruturaj and Bravo got us more than what we expected. We had to bat exceptionally to get to 140, but to get to 160 was tremendous.”


“The wicket was slightly two-paced and slow to start off with. There's always a catch, one batter played till the end and the others contributed well,” he added.


On being asked about why MI did not use pacers to further put CSK batters under duress after they were 24/4 in 6 overs, Dhoni said, “It's a give and take, you need to see how many fast bowlers you have in the armoury and how much time they take to bowl their overs.”


Player of the Match Gaikwad said, “Obviously one of my top innings till now. With the pressure of early wickets and with the seniors in the dressing room, I just had to grind and get the team to 130, 140 and then 150 was possible.”


“When Mahi bhai is around and with the CSK management, once they back you, you don't have to think much. Initially the ball was seaming and swinging so I had to take my chance against the spinners. Jaddu just came in and I had to take my chance and it came off well. Quinton was taking charge, and my drop at that stage could have been crucial, but luckily Deepak got him out soon after,” he added.


Chennai have moved to the top of the table with 12 points from 8 games, ahead of Delhi in terms of net run rate (NRR) with a figure of 1.223 to boast.


The seventh-placed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will take on the third-ranked Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday in the 31st match of IPL 2021.

Twitter Reactions as CSK beat MI in UAE Leg opener

As CSK beat Mumbai Indians by 20 runs after losing 4 wickets for 24 in first Innings, cricket pundits went crazy and congratulated CSK for their fantastic performance. Some of them are in awe of captain MS Dhoni'c captaincy.


Here is the collection of some of the finest tweets:

Read More: History of IPL’s very own El Classico - Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians – MI lead 20-13


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