INDIA: Ajinkya Rahane’s blistering half-century on his Chennai Super Kings (CSK) debut led to a statement seven-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League 2023.
CSK Vs MI
Rahane scored a 19-ball fifty, the fastest of the season, with seven fours and three sixes to chase down the below-par total of 137 with 11 balls to spare.
CSK’s spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner picked up five wickets between them to leave MI struggling. Shivam Dube’s cameo of 28 runs supported Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ambati Rayudu after the departure of Rahane to guide Chennai in overhauling MI’s target.
CSK were off to a flying start as they restricted MI to just 61 runs in the PowerPlay, with Jadeja and Santner picking crucial wickets in the middle overs.
MI’s Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma made a frantic start to the innings, with Kishan scoring 28 runs in just 14 balls. However, Jadeja lured him into a false shot in the seventh over, which led to MI’s middle-order collapse.
Suryakumar Yadav fell to a nothing ball from Mitchell Santner, and a stunning catch from Jadeja off his own bowling ended Cameron Green’s stay at the crease. Tilak Verma and Tim David attempted a recovery, but Jadeja dismissed Verma to finish with a fantastic spell of 3 for 15 in four overs.
In response, CSK’s Devon Conway fell in the first over, but it opened the floor for Rahane, who hit some sublime shots around the ground. He reduced Gaikwad to a spectator for large parts of the first six overs, as the CSK opener faced just 12 balls in that period.
Rahane laced his inning with sublime shots around the ground, including a six over square leg off Jason Beherendorff and a bludgeoned over off Arshad Khan.
He scored his half-century in just 19 balls, reducing the target for CSK to just 51 runs in 14 overs. Though Rahane fell for 61 off 27, it didn’t allow MI to force a way back with the ball.
MI’s depleted bowling attack came in for an assault from the local boy, who has grown up piling on a mountain of runs on surfaces like this.
Rahane’s innings complemented the efforts of CSK’s spinners, who turned the game around for them. CSK gained two crucial points with the victory, while MI remained winless in two games.
The match witnessed a dominant performance from CSK, who looked in complete control throughout the game.
MI’s top-order collapse put them on the back foot early, and they never recovered from the early setbacks. Overall, it was a thoroughly convincing win for CSK, who have started their IPL campaign on a high note.
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