IPL 2023, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Mumbai Indians (MI): Matheesha Pathirana's 3-14, Nehal Wadhera's 64 and Deepak Chahar-Tushar Deshpande's combined 4-44 are top performances. CSK beat Mumbai Indians and move to 2nd place in points table.
Brief Scores: CSK 140/4 (Conway 44, Ruturaj 30, Chawla 2/25) beat MI 139/8 (Wadhera 64, Pathirana 3/15, Chahar 2/18) by 6 wickets
Player of the Match: Matheesha Pathirana (3/15)
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) locked horns with Mumbai Indians (MI) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. Mumbai have an upper hand over Chennai with 20 wins in 35 games; they also won their last five games at the Chidambaram Stadium against the Super Kings.
A win over MI in Chepauk after 4777 days takes CSK to the second position
CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on winning the toss decided to bowl first under overcast conditions. Mumbai Indians added Tristan Stubbs in place of injured Tilak Verma and handed debut cap to Raghav Goyal while CSK went with an unchanged eleven.
Put into bat first, Mumbai Indians found themselves under early trouble with just 34/3 in the powerplay before Suryakumar Yadav and Nehal Wadhera steadied the ship taking them to 64/3 at the halfway mark. The 54-run fifth wicket stand between Wadhera and Tristan Stubbs carried them to 93/4 in 15 overs before some powerful batting shouldered Mumbai Indians to 139/8 in their allotted 20 overs.
Chasing a low total, the dynamic opening stand between Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway provided CSK a valuable start with 55/1 in the powerplay before Ajinkya Rahane gave Conway company to reach 81/2 in 10 overs. Some big hits from Shivam Dube shouldered the ‘Whistle Phodu’ army to 123/3 in 15 overs. Finally, they chased down this low score by six wickets with 14 balls to spare.
Talking point: Rohit Sharma’s poor form a major concern for MI
One of the major concerns for Mumbai Indians has been the poor form of their captain and opener Rohit Sharma who in this season has thumped just 184 runs in nine games at an average of 20.44 and strike rate of 129.58. In his last four outings, Rohit Sharma has managed just five runs including couple of back-to-back ducks.
Rohit even demoted himself in this game at number three but the luck didn’t change and he again got out for a three-ball duck. With the league stage reaching the business end, Rohit Sharma needs to step up for his franchise as a batter.
Let’s scan the top three performances from the game between CSK and MI in Chennai
Nehal Wadhera showed his potential with 64-run knock
The star for India’s Under-19 team in Asia Cup 2019, Nehal Wadhera, who was picked up by Mumbai Indians, was expected to impress the cricketing world with his batting.
In the El Clasico of IPL, coming at 13/2 in the third over for the Mumbai Indians against CSK, Wadhera began with a powerful boundary against Deepak Chahar pulling him over mid-wicket. He went back and chopped Ravindra Jadeja on the off-side for a boundary before hammering Moeen Ali wide of extra cover for the same result. In between those boundaries, he was taking those crucial singles and doubles.
After sweeping Jadeja over short fine for a boundary, Wadhera paddled Maheesh Theekshana behind the square for another four. The left-hand batter whacked Theekshana over long-on for a six before punching Jadeja for three boundaries in the same over to celebrate his fifty in 46 balls. Wadhera now has unbeaten 29 T20 runs in 15 balls against Jadeja with five boundaries.
Nehal Wadhera who managed 64 runs in 51 balls with the help of eight boundaries and one six, now has 131 IPL runs in eight games at a strike rate of 145.56.
Chahar-Deshpande broke Mumbai’s batting with combined figures of 4/44
To do well in the powerplay, Chennai hoped to see the return of Deepak Chahar from injury, backed up by young Tushar Deshpande.
In his very first over, Tushar Deshpande caged the ‘big fish’ Cameron Green on 6 with a good length delivery that kept a little low to break the stumps of Green.
In the very next over, Chahar sent back in-form Ishan Kishan on 7 who looking to slog sweep on the leg side but was caught in the hands of mid-on fielder. On the fifth ball of the same over, Chahar dismissed Rohit Sharma on a three-ball duck who in trying to play the lap shot was caught in the hands of backward point fielder. This is the third time Chahar dismissed Rohit in T20s who has 60 runs in 49 balls in the face-off.
Coming back in the 19th over, Tushar Deshpande sent back Tim David on 2 for the second time in this season. Deepak Chahar who finished with 2/18 in three overs now has 61 IPL wickets in 68 games while Tushar Deshpande who returned 2/26 in four overs now has 23 IPL wickets in 18 games.
Matheesha Pathirana showed his death over skills with 3/15
Since the last year, young Matheesha Pathirana has been a real find for Chennai Super Kings and he has impressed in the death overs this season.
After giving away just eight runs in his first couple of overs, Pathirana with a cracking yorker broke the furniture of Nehal Wadhera on 64 before foxing Arshad Khan on 1 with a slower delivery who gave a simple catch to the deep point fielder.
Pathirana bagged the wicket of Tristan Stubbs on 20 with another slower delivery to finish with figures of 3/15 in his four overs. Matheesha Pathirana now has 12 IPL wickets in nine games at an economy of just 7.65, mostly bowling in those run flowing death overs.
Points Table Scenario and What’s to Come
With six wins in 11 games, CSK jumps to the second position with 13 points at a net run rate of 0.404, while Mumbai Indians remain on number six with five wins in 11 games at a net run rate of -0.454.
Gujarat Titans (GT) will take on Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on May 7 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.