CSK win a humdinger

Dwayne Bravo hit a belligerent 68 off just 30 balls as Chennai Super Kings celebrated their return to the Vivo IPL with a nail-biting one-wicket win over defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede on Saturday evening.

Bravo gave CSK hope by smashing 40 runs off two overs but couldn’t finish the job. That honour was reserved for Kedar Jadhav, who had retired hurt earlier, but returned to hit a six and the winning boundary, as CSK completed a famous win.

With the scoreboard reading 84/6 after 13 overs, CSK looked down and out for all money. But Bravo had other ideas. The West Indian smashed two sixes off Mitchell McClenaghan and a further three off Jasprit Bumrah to turn the match on its head.

Earlier, 20-year-old Mayank Markande produced a sensational display of leg-spin bowling to return figures of 3/23 on Vivo IPL debut. Playing in front of a packed house at the Wankhede, Markande showed no visible nerves. Instead, he thrived like no other bowler did on the night. Brought into the attack after the Powerplay after MI stepped out to defend 165/4, Markande bowled four straight overs with precision.

The youngster from Punjab claimed Ambati Rayudu up front with a flat googly. The batsman contested the decision but the Decision Review System (DRS) thought otherwise. Markande struck gold when he foxed big fish MS Dhoni with a vicious wrong’un. He wasn’t done. He then had Deepak Chahar stumped off the final ball of his spell to break CSK’s back. Hardik Pandya was the other brilliant performer with the ball. He beat the pain barrier he suffered during the first innings, by valiantly bowling his quota of four overs. But more importantly, he removed Shane Watson and Suresh Raina early.

Asked to bat by Dhoni, Mumbai Indians made up for a sluggish start by collecting exactly 100 off the last 10 overs on a typical Wankhede pitch offering pace and bounce.

MI lost Vivo IPL debutant Evin Lewis for a duck in the third over after the left-hander was struck on the pads by a nippy in-swinger bowled by Deepak Chahar. Lewis challenged the umpire’s decision to signal the debut of the DRS in the league but he was let down as the replays showed the ball clipping the leg stump.

Right-arm seamer Chahar bowled a brilliant first over, too, beating skipper Rohit Sharma on three straight occasions by generating prodigious movement off the wicket. Sharma was largely off-colour during his 18-ball 15 but he did hit the tournament’s first six by smashing Watson over extra-cover. Two deliveries later, he top-edged one high, only to be caught by Rayudu.

Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav then added 78 runs in quick time as Mumbai recovered well. Yadav’s knock was punctuated with solid punches off the back-foot but his best shot of the night was a lofted six off Shane Watson.

Kishan got going with a couple of fours off Ravindra Jadeja, but he truly turned on the style by hitting two fours and a six in Imran Tahir’s first over. It was as if he changed gears after realising the score was a below-par 65/2 at the halfway stage. Each of those hits were on the off-side. Yadav then took a cue from Kishan by collecting three boundaries off Dwayne Bravo’s next. Yadav went on to top-score for MI, his 43 off 29 balls getting the team out of a tricky position.

After garnering 30 runs off two overs, MI received another jolt when Watson got Yadav to hole out in the deep. Two overs later, Kishan, too, perished for a well-made 40 off 29.

And that brought the Pandya brothers together. Hardik was on 13 when Krunal joined him in the middle. Krunal started off with a boundary and went on a scoring spree to finish with an unbeaten 41 off 22. It seemed he picked up where he left off in last year’s final. Krunal tore into Mark Wood, whose woeful night earned him figures of 4-0-49-0 on Vivo IPL debut. Krunal scored 19 runs off that over — the 17th of the innings — the highpoint of which was a six over mid-wicket. Somehow, he also converted a yorker bowled well outside leg into a boundary ball and hit it through the covers. It was simply sensational.

Krunal tormented Wood some more by hitting the Englishman for 17 runs in the 19th over. MI could score only five off the last over bowled by Bravo. And to make matters worse, Hardik had to be lifted off the field after he collided with Bravo at the non-striker’s end.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 165/4 in 20 overs (Ishan Kishan 40, Suryakumar Yadav 43, Krunal Pandya 41*; Deepak Chahar 1/14, Shane Watson 2/29, Imran Tahir 1/23) lost to Chennai Super Kings 169/9 in 19.5 overs (Ambati Rayudu 22, Kedar Jadhav 24*, Dwayne Bravo 68; Hardik Pandya 3/24, Mayank Markande 3/23) by one wicket.