Mumbai Indians produced an all-round cricketing display to defeat an in-form CSK by 37 runs, and thus their 100th win in IPL. Suryakumar Yadav played an inspiring knock of 59 runs before Hardik Pandya (25*) and Kieron Pollard’s (17*) fiery atting display helped the hosts reach 170/5.
The bowlers, spearheaded by debutant Jason Behrendorff (2/22) and Hardik Pandya (3/20) then ensured that CSk could never build any good partnership to ultimately guide Mumbai Indians to a stylish victory.
1⃣0⃣0⃣th win for @mipaltan!— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) April 3, 2019
Well judged innings from @surya_14kumar & @krunalpandya24 along with a wonderful all round performance by @hardikpandya7! Not to forget the spells by Malinga and @JDorff5 and 2 special catches by @KieronPollard55.
Excellent team performance. pic.twitter.com/71MKYTbv5B
1. Chennai Super Kings are humans after all!
The way CSK had started their title defence, winning three consecutive matches with big margins. If their pacers failed to perform in the first game, the spinners did their job. If the openers failed, as in the match against Rajasthan Royals, it was the lower middle order that stood up to the occasion. CSK just felt like the perfect, and more importantly, an unbeatable team in the league thus far.
However, Wednesday’s 37 run defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians does show that CSK are humans. And beatable.
2. Have MI finally got their Starting XI?
Mumbai Indians have been tweaking with their sides for quite a while. They gave Rasikh Salam, Ben Cutting and Mitchell McClenaghan a chance in the first match against DC. They then dropped Salam and Cutting to bring in Mayank Markande and Lasith Malinga respectively in the winning game against RCB. And then against CSK, MI fielded Australian bowler
Jason Behrendorff in place of Mitchell McClenaghan. The switch made an instant impact as Behrendorff scalped two early, crucial wickets of Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina. His figures of 2/22 in four overs made for an impressive debut. Lasith Malinga (3/34) picked up three wickets himself along with Hardik Pandya (3/20) to limit CSK to 133/8. It seems that their bowling has been sorted off.
They are doing fine batting wise as well, but need to find a way to include Ishan Kishan back into the squad. They badly need a good middle-order batsman. Having said that, they look a pretty balanced side now.
Time Up for Shane Watson?
Shane Watson has been one of the biggest posterboys of IPL. The feisty single-handedly led an underdog team like Rajasthan Royals to the IPL crown against CSK in the inaugural season. (He was IPL 2008’s man of the series). A decade later, life came full circle for him when he decisively led CSK to their comeback IPL title in 2018 by scoring a brilliant century (117). Considering the emotional quotient of the contest, the knock is still fresh in people’s as well as the owner’s memory.
However, age has started to catch up. Watson, who will turn 38 in a couple of months, has started to lose his killer instincts and hard-hitting abilities. In the last 4 matches this season, the player has managed to score only 62 runs at an average of 15.55. Last season after the same number of matches, Watson had scored a massive 175 run. Considering his reducing stamina, he is not bowling as well.
It is unfortunate, and even sad. But it may just be the time for Watson to hang up his boots. At least at CSK. The team ageing fast with many of its star players on the wrong side of their 30s. If Chennai Super Kings have to maintain their dominance in the league as they have for the better part of the last decade, they will have to start giving young players a chance. Delhi Capitals, IPL’s youngest team, can be a role model of this. CSK can give players like David Willey and Scott Kuggeleijn a chance to play in place of Watson. It may be difficult, but this change has to be done in the near future. Why not now?
Moment of the Match
Mumbai Indians entered IPL’s history books by becoming the first team to record a century of IPL wins. The moment of the match was more special since it came against giants CSK. The latter comes in second at 93, although it should also be mentioned that Chennai were are at the No.2 in spite of serving a two year ban.
Epic Fan Tweets
Powerful all-round performance by #MI: spirited finish to the innings while batting, backed up by superbly controlled bowling and brillaint fielding. Need few more such days to ensure place in play-offs!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 3, 2019
Player of the Match
Hardik Pandya was obviously the man of the match for his all-round display. The 25-year-old scored a crucial 25 runs in the first innings’ death overs before scalping the crucial wickets of MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja.
In every match of the IPL, Hardik Pandya is proving himself as the best all-rounder and why he is way better than Ravindra Jadeja !#MIvCSK— Devarshi (@devarshing) April 3, 2019