Mumbai Indians in IPL Final

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Suryakumar and Hardik Pandya celebrate Mumbqi Indian’s victory against Chennai Super Kings to enter IPL finals

By defeating the star-studded Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by six wickets at Chennai on Tuesday the 7th May, Mumbai Indians (MI) entered the 2019 IPL final. This is the fifth time that they have made it to the IPL final.

Why do I label CSK as star-studded? Just have a look at their team. South Africa’s captain ”˜Faf’ du Plassis and Australia’s high scoring batsman Shane Watson open their batting. Captained by the legendary batsman ”“ wicket-keeper MS Dhoni, CSK is rich in India’s hard-hitting batsmen Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay, Ravindrasinh Jadeja and Ambati Rayudu.

CSK open their attack with Windies quickie Dwayne Bravo and have quality spinners in India’s Harbhajan Singh and South Africa’s Imran Tahir.

The only Test players from MI are skipper and opening batsman Rohit Sharma from India, wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock from South Africa, all-rounder Hardik Pandya (India) and fast bowlers Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka) and Jasprit Bumrah (India).

Dhoni won the toss and CSK batted on their home ground. Despite thunderous support from the large crowd waving their yellow flags, CSK lost their top batsmen du Plassis, Raina and Watson for only 32 runs. Murali Vijay appeared in fine touch but he also fell and his team was in tatters at 4 for 65 at a run-rate of less than 5.5.

Then Rayudu 42 not out with one six and Dhoni an unbeaten 37 with three sixes added 66 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket. But a total of 4 for 131 in 20 overs looked inadequate.

MI also started poorly losing their openers Rohit Sharma and de Kock for 21 runs. Just then youngsters Suryakumar Yadav (71 not out) and Ishan Kishan (28) added 80 quick runs. CSK appeared to turn the match around when spinner Tahir dismissed Kishan and Kushal Pandya off successive balls.

But the elegant Man of the Match Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya took MI to 4 for 132 winning by six wickets with nine balls in hand.

Other qualifiers, Delhi Capitals (DC) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SH), will meet on 9 May. The loser will be eliminated. Then CSK will face the winner of DC and SH.

Their winner will meet MI in the Final on Monday the 13th May.

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