Levi 50 spells doom for Chennai Super Kings.
Mumbai Indians wallop hosts to win opening match of the IPL 2012.
Mumbai Indians rode on their latest recruit's whirlwind assault to breeze past Chennai Super Kings in the opening match of the fifth edition of DLF Indian Premier League at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk on Wednesday.
Richard Levi, the South African who had set the thrilling world of Twenty20 on fire having cracked a century against New Zealand at Hobard which included 13 massive success, was signed by Richard Levi in the run up to the IPL.
Mumbai Indians won the toss and elected to field first on a wicket that looked tough for the batsmen early on. When asked if Chennai Super Kings if they would've done the same, Mahendra Singh Dhoni nodded in agreement and had no choice but to take strike first.
Mumbai struck in the first over itself, an outstanding run out effort by Ambati Rayudu sending Faf du Plessis for just three runs. The early dismissal was only an indication of things to follow with rest of the line-up falling prey to the Mumbai Indians attack -- led by Harbhajan Singh -- that ran through the opposition.
Murli Vijay, du Plessis' opening partner, was the next to go, caught Harbhajan and bowled Franklin. With the exception of Suresh Raina who managed a fighting 36, none of the other Chennai Super Kings batsmen including Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel and captain Dhoni. The hosts perished for a paltry score of 112 runs with a ball to spare. Lasith Malinga, Pragyan Ojha and Kieron Pollard picked two wickets each while Harbhajan picked one.
The chase appeared an easy one for Mumbai Indians, with the wicket easing down considerably and the visitors opening with none other than Sachin Tendulkar. While Tendulkar stayed at one end, stabilising the innings, Levi -- who has been in awe of the man -- walked out to take strike at the other end.
If there was any inspiration needed, the South African only had to look up at the other end of the crease but much before that, a very ordinary Chennai Super Kings attack made things easier for the 24-year-old.
Levi struck six boundaries and three sixes that set the tone for Mumbai Indians and before he left -- scoring a half century off 35 balls in his maiden IPL match -- his team had already reached a distance sniffing victory.
Tendulkar retired hurt at 16 when the ball hit his gloves and Rohit Sharma fell for a duck caught behind. But there wasn't much to do and Ambati Rayudu and James Franklin finished the match with 3.1 overs to spare.
Mumbai Indians will play their next match with Sahara Warriors Pune at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.