Super Kings make mockery of 184 chase
Chennai Super Kings 189 for 4 (Smith 62, McCullum 46) beat Mumbai Indians 183 for 7 (Pollard 64, Rohit 50, Nehra 3-23) by 6 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Kieron Pollard and Rohit Sharma did their best to help Mumbai Indians set a challenging target for Chennai Super Kings, but a whirlwind opening partnership between Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum made a mockery of a 184-run chase. The six-wicket win at the Wankhede Stadium was Super Kings' third in as many games, even as their opponents suffered their fourth consecutive loss of the season.
That Mumbai posted a total as challenging as 183 was down to the knocks from Rohit and Pollard, who lifted the side after yet another top-order collapse. This time, it was Ashish Nehra's accurate bowling that left Mumbai reeling at 62 for 4 at the halfway stage. Their partnership of 75 came off only 33 deliveries and played a large part in helping the home team add 121 runs in the last 10 overs.
That partnership paled in comparison to the onslaught by McCullum and Smith. By the time the the batsmen holed out in the deep to Harbhajan Singh in the eighth over, Super Kings had raced to 115 and the target was almost down to less than a run a ball for the remaining 12 overs.
The pair were at their harshest between the fourth and sixth overs. They combined to hammer ten fours and two sixes as the three overs fetched 61 runs. The bowler at the other end didn't matter - Lasith Malinga, J Suchith and Harbhajan Singh were each hit for four boundaries in their overs. The assault helped Super Kings raise the second-highest Powerplay tally in the IPL overall.
The highlight of McCullum's 20-ball 46 was the glide over the keeper off Pawan Suyal in the seventh over. McCullum was almost facing Parthiv Patel when he helped the ball over the fine-leg fence, bringing up the hundred for Super Kings.
Both batsmen fell within five balls but the stage was set for Super Kings to bring their batting depth into play and improve on their net run rate. Suresh Raina achieved the objective with a trademark cameo, helping Super Kings overhaul the target with 20 balls to spare.
Just like their batsmen set up the chase in the Powerplay overs, the Super Kings bowlers set up the game in Mumbai's Powerplay. The hosts had a new opening pair in Parthiv Patel and Lendl Simmons, who replaced the injured Aaron Finch, but Parthiv was trapped in front of the wickets for a golden duck by Ashish Nehra off the fourth ball of the innings.
In Nehra's next over, Faf du Plessis pulled off a stunning catch to see the back of the dangerous Corey Anderson. When Simmons gave du Plessis catching practice off Ishwar Pandey, Mumbai had been reduced to 12 for 3.
If Mumbai's decision to make Rohit bat at No. 4 was not surprising enough, Harbhajan was sent in at No 5, ahead of Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu. Harbhajan stemmed the fall of wickets with a 45-run partnership, before Rohit and Pollard set the up the innings. Between the 10th and 15th overs of the innings, Mumbai raced from 62 for 4 to 132 for 5, with Pollard and Rohit taking 26 runs off one Ravindra Jadeja over.
In the end, a score of 183 proved to be far from enough for the home team.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo