CSK v MI, Group B, CLT20, Johannesburg October 20, 2012

Chennai take last-ball win in dead rubber


Chennai Super Kings 173 for 8 (du Plessis 52, Malinga 5-32) beat Mumbai Indians 167 for 7 (Karthik 74, Hilfenhaus 2-14) by six runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Around 5pm on an overcast evening, an enthusiastic crowd at the Wanderers were faced with the prospect of a washout. This, after what was supposed to be the marquee Saturday night match involving teams featuring some of the world's biggest Twenty20 stars turned into a dead rubber as Lions qualified for the semi-finals earlier in the day, knocking out both Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. They were glad they stayed behind, though, as the widely predicted thunderstorm stayed away paving the way for a last-ball finish in one of the highest scoring matches of the tournament with Super Kings walking away victors.

It was hard to believe that the match was so closely contested given the stark difference in the starts the two teams had to their innings: Super Kings motored to 86 for 0 in eight overs, while Mumbai had stumbled to 38 for 2 after eight.

The contrast was mainly due to the different stages in which the teams used their best fast bowlers. Lasith Malinga took two key wickets in the 11th over - of the fluent Faf du Plessis and the dangerous Suresh Raina - and two more crucial ones in the 17th - of MS Dhoni, who was showing glimpses of the big-hitting that first made him a star, and of the renowned finisher Albie Morkel. After being caned for 16 in his first over, Malinga took 5 for 16 in his remaining three to rob the second half of Super Kings' innings of momentum.

Super Kings, instead, gave their most potent quicks the new ball. Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger justified the strategy of using two of their overseas slots on specialist fast bowlers, as the pair smothered the Mumbai openers. Despite Dinesh Karthik slog-sweeping Ravindra Jadeja for 19 in the 11th over, the Super Kings' bowlers seemed to have done enough early on to secure a comfortable victory.

It certainly seemed that way when Ambati Rayudu swiped a long hop from du Plessis straight to deep square leg in the 14th, but the contest was back on after Karthik and Kieron Pollard lashed 24 in the 18th over, leaving 27 to get in the final two overs. Dhoni stuck to the policy of giving the side's best bowler the 19th over, and Hilfenhaus delivered by removing the rampaging Karthik.

With 19 required for Mumbai in the final over, Super Kings shone again in the one department in which they were clearly ahead of the rest in the IPL - the fielding. While there had been several notable efforts earlier in the innings, the best were saved for the final over. Pollard had pummelled the first ball from Jadeja for six, before he fell to a face-forward diving catch by Raina at long-on. Two balls later, Harbhajan Singh hammered a four through extra cover with as much power as any Pollard shot, before he was dismissed by a well-judged clasp by Wriddhiman Saha, arching his body backwards at deep square leg to hold an overhead chance.

It left Mitchell Johnson needing to hit a six off the final delivery to tie the game, which could only be thumped towards long-off to confirm Super Kings' first victory of the tournament.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kris on October 22, 2012, 0:59 GMT

    Ashwin criticized. Well, the margin was exactly what he did with the last ball in 1st innings. Maybe he was hit for a bit too many toward the end. It happens. I thought Hilfie was rightly declared MOM. And it's fielders like Raina that sometimes win matches for you. Good match, anyway.

  • Rakesh on October 22, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    @crickrtlovrruk - ipl teams have own previous trophy in SA. Look at ur poor tram yorkshire. Struggling in familier conditions. Hail IPL. Hail India.

  • Matrix on October 21, 2012, 19:38 GMT

    Great Match . Did not feel like a dead rubber. Dinesh Karthik deserved to be the man of the match. He virtually exposed CSK to its vulnerability - spin bowling attack. I am more impressed with MI than CSK for their fight back. I think captaincy of Dhoni is seeing wear and tear now. He is unable to control players like Ashwin who is going the Bhajji way in his form and self belief. Time for a serious overhaul in CSK and India 20/20 team. New players from under 19 should be considered for Internationals.

  • Tushar on October 21, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    ashwin was the highest wicket taker when super kings won the champions trophy in SA. And not sure if pollard would have ade any difference. He is far less consistent than rayadu...!!!

  • Dummy4 on October 21, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    Had this match happened 1 moth ago, I would've enjoyed Malinga's 5/32. But he is not my favorite bowler anymore. -Sri Lankan Fan-

  • Wicky on October 21, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    @Rajesh india 1990,well not too many people Try to wav too much hype about them, i thnk no playr z bigr than team or The game itself why can't u peopl realiz the examples of inzy,pontng,lara etc

  • RAVINDER on October 21, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    @TRAM on (October 21 2012, 01:48 AM GMT)..How well u have analyzed the fall of Bhajji and now Ashwin.Only someone who have seen the matches live and not seeing just the scorecard on web/newspaper can analyze this way.I had the same feeling about Bhajji and now Ashwin...may be its too much limited over cricket which is killing Indian bowling talent.Ishant got lost only after IPL and then later Mishra followed suit followed by Bhajji.May be Rohit Shrama is also always in hurry coz of too much limited over cricket. BTW its a shame for any Indian fan like me to watch Sachin batting so horribly though this had to happen coz of him not being the team man since ages.I know many will start debate here but I stand by what I said.Dhoni is 2nd after him.No one can come close to what Dravid,Laxman,Ganguly,Kumble,Venky,Srinath,YV and now Kohli contributed as team men.

  • Dummy4 on October 21, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    Why on earth was Raydu sent in before Pollard..............Mumbai Indians deserved to lose thanks to the poor captaining decisions; and escalating run rate and you have the most destructive lower order batsman but you choose Raydu; if Pollard came in earlier Mumbai Indian would have won. Indian selectors however should note that with the exception of Kohli and Raina the rest of the Indian batsman are sorely out of form and no new youngster should that he could step up to the plate. India need to play Harbhajan Singh; Ashwin has proven himself to be less than mediocre outside of India against any player who can play spin. Either that or need to get someone new Ashwin and Ojha are terrible. India better look to fight hard and be willing to struggle to have any chance against oppositions

  • Rajesh on October 21, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    @wickyroy.paklover yes akmal brothers,hafeez,malik,afridi and all the pakistani mediocres are better than Sachin...isn't it? Lol

  • Paramesh on October 21, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    Dhoni has become very stereo-typed. Whatever is the result he doesn't want to change his thinking. This was very evident in England & Australia. Having Umesh Yadav, a genuine quickee in the side Dhoni never used him even in one Test against England despite a humiliating white wash. His leadership by silence is fine when things go well but cannot sustain when the team is battered. The Indian spinners surprisingly were the worst among all the spinners in CLT20. Ashwin really needs to learn how to bowl in different conditions. He is learning the hard way that being successful in all formats in India does not automatically place him in the international league of spinners unless he can perform in demanding conditions. Dhoni may have to quickly decide if he wants to continue as a captain and/or player in all 3 formats or stick to the faster ones, which suits his style better,

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