Bowlers set it up, Tilak and Hrithik finish off the job against CSK
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A top opening burst from Daniel Sams, consistent wickets from our bowlers and mature knocks from Tilak Varma and Hrithik Shokeen ensured that we got our first victory this season at Wankhede against CSK.
Rohit Sharma called right at the toss and chose to chase, with Tristan Stubbs making his debut in place of Pollard and Hrithik Shokeen coming back in place of M Ashwin.
Dan Sams took the new ball and gave us the perfect start - getting Devon Conway with swing and Moeen Ali with bounce in the very first over.
Boom then troubled Robin Uthappa before trapping him LBW. Sams and Riley Meredith then dismissed Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ambati Rayudu respectively to reduce CSK to 29/5 in the powerplay.
Meredith soon picked up Shivam Dube with a fiery bouncer, as Ishan Kishan completed a fine, jumping catch behind the stumps.
CSK skipper MS Dhoni and DJ Bravo then shared a 39-run stand to revive the innings a bit before Kartikeya got Bravo off a full toss, with Tilak Varma holding on to a blinder at short cover.
Kartikeya also got Simarjeet Singh LBW in the same over before Ramandeep Singh picked up his first wicket in our colours with the dismissal of Maheesh Theekshana.
Ishan then brought the CSK innings to a close on 97 with a direct hit to catch Mukesh Choudhary short as MS Dhoni tried to steal a bye.
In response, Ishan Kishan began with a boundary but was caught behind off Mukesh Choudhary in the first over. We then sent Dan Sams up the order at no.3 to counter the prodigious swing and defend deliveries.
Skipper Ro decided to take up the role of aggressor as he hit three boundaries off Simarjeet Singh and Mukesh Choudhary - creaming it through the off side and straight back down.
However, Simarjeet got the better of Ro and Mukesh struck twice in the same over to remove Dan Sams and debutant Tristan Stubbs.
Youngster Hrithik Shokeen was then promoted up the order to join Tilak Varma and the duo focused on rebuilding the innings, taking no risks and knocking it around to build a partnership.
Tilak, in particular, waited for the bad balls to put away and shared a 48-run stand with Hrithik. The latter was then dismissed for a valuable 18 after going for the big hit against Moeen Ali.
However, we only needed 17 more runs at that point and big man Tim David finished it off with two big sixes.
Captain Hitman was appreciative of the team’s effort to keep calm after the early jolt and effusive in his praise for Tilak.
“There were a few tense moments but it was pleasing to see that we kept calm and got the job done. Tilak has been brilliant, having such a calm head in his first season is never easy. He has the technique and temperament, there is a hunger to do well and finish games. He is on the right path, he just needs to keep going,” he said at the post-match presentation.
On the fiery opening spell by the pacers, Ro admitted that prior knowledge of the pitch aided them.
“We have played a lot of cricket here so we have had pitches like this. It’s nice to get the bowlers in the game, it was good to see some bounce and swing here. Boom knows what he needs to do and what the team expects from him. He understands that and he bowled a magnificent spell up top today,” he said.
On being asked about the changes to the side today, the skipper revealed that it was important to give chances to some new faces to see how they stack up in certain situations.
“We want to win games but also try a few players in certain roles and see if they live up to it, that will hold us in good stead for next season,” he concluded.
A perfect team performance with everyone stepping up to the task sealed a wonderful win on our return to the Wankhede and we are excited for more such games!