Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians, Qualifier 1, IPL 2015, Mumbai May 19, 2015

Pollard, Harbhajan put Mumbai in third final

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Mumbai Indians 187 for 6 (Simmons 65, Pollard 41, Bravo 3-40) beat Chennai Super Kings 162 (du Plessis 45, Malinga 3-23) by 25 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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O'Brien: CSK were two wickets behind the whole time

Mumbai Indians dished out the perfect formulaic fare - win toss, score enough runs and throttle the opponent in the field - to subdue Chennai Super Kings by 25 runs and march into the final.

After Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard took Mumbai's score to 187, they shadowed Super Kings throughout their chase, never allowing them to get on top. Harbhajan Singh's dismissals of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni off consecutive deliveries in the 11th over helped Mumbai make the decisive surge.

Apart from Faf du Plessis, who consolidated after an early wicket, and R Ashwin, who dealt a few powerful blows towards the end, Super Kings' batting, as Dhoni later put it, was soft. It was only a matter of time before Mumbai clinched their eighth win in nine games.

After a decent start, Super Kings found themselves in the rather unfamiliar territory of a middle-order collapse, and more disturbingly for them they didn't have the right response. The very next ball after Raina pushed one straight back at Harbhajan, Dhoni , attempting a sweep, was caught plumb in front. But the lbw that caused much angst to Super Kings was that of Dwayne Smith, ruled out by Richard Illingworth when a Lasith Malinga low full toss in the first over struck him well outside leg stump.

But du Plessis, who was later dropped on 14 by Malinga, remained Super Kings' banker. However, his dismissal in the 14th over, which was followed by Parthiv Patel's sharp run-out of Dwayne Bravo, quelled any late uprising. Ashwin belted out some elegant hits, but with no recognised batsman at the other end there was too much for him to do. Super Kings folded up two balls after his dismissal in the 19th over.

Even though Mumbai didn't go berserk from the beginning, openers Simmons and Parthiv Patel didn't panic after a slow start.

After negotiating tidy opening spells from Ashwin, who opened the bowling for the second time this year, and Ashish Nehra, Simmons blasted a brace of sixes off Ashwin to shrug off the inertia. While he played out 25 dot balls, he compensated with five sixes and three fours during the course of his 51-ball 65. Simmons looked to be hurling everything he had at the ball, and besides hacking the ball down the ground, his fast hands came in handy while guiding the ball late.

Parthiv joined in with his clear-the-front-leg-and-swipe approach soon after, and together they completed their fourth 50-plus partnership of the tournament. After Bravo sent back Parthiv, the incidence of wickets appeared to be a little more frequent, but it didn't have a palpable impact on the scoring-rate: they scored 49 runs from the 10th to 15th overs, and managed 52 in their last five.

Pollard played an influential role in this respect, slamming a 17-ball 41 with five sixes and a four. He largely favoured the leg side, besides going straight every once in a while. That he kept going despite wickets falling at the other end hurt Super Kings, whose fielding was uncharacteristically patchy. It rubbed on to their bowling towards the end: Bravo bowled three wides in the last over, which cost him 16 runs.

Super Kings were on exactly the same score - 86 - as their opponents at the halfway mark, having lost two wickets to Mumbai's none. But the loss of four wickets in the next five overs saw them slide irreversibly.

Arun Venugopal is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2015, 12:33 GMT

    CSK's think tank was not smart enough at auctions and worst they didn't try any bench strength and are now forced to play with the same out of form players.CSK is playing with only 6 capable players.Smith, Jadeja, Hussey are dead wood combined with poor form of Raina, Dhoni CSK sure to get toppled by RCB albeit at Ranchi.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2015, 3:19 GMT

    I think CSK downfall is because they used almost the same XI for all the matches apart from minor changes. If you look at the other teams they rotate players more often and hence lot of players gets the chance and these teams had the luxury of finding best replacements. But CSK used same old players so often.

  • randolf on May 20, 2015, 18:50 GMT

    @ADI133, you see what I'm talking about? The match was done and dusted since after the first innings - nothing of interest to watch thereafter! A par score is between 160 and 165 for the team batting first. Anything under 160 is a sure walk in the park for the team batting second. And, anything beyond 165 is an easy win for the team batting first. It's as easy as that. Did you notice that even though RR wanted more than 70 in the last two overs, their fans were still making pleasant noises for even a single run in the 19th over! A sign that the poor people do not quite undersatnd what's happening on the park yet; when they do, that's the end of T/20 cricket!

  • Ravindran on May 20, 2015, 18:34 GMT

    though a big fan of csk ,i accept csk dosnt deserve to be at top position.

    though hate kkr,accept they rise to big occasions and have many players who single handedly win big matches

  • Ravindran on May 20, 2015, 18:12 GMT

    disappointed with csk.

    a simple stategy followed by many other teams is(like rcb,mi,kkr )

    match 1 to 7 'use as many as players and find the maximum number of inform players) match 8 to 14 use as many as inform players for rest of tournament

    problem with csk's strategy

    1.they play in low scoring home pitch 2.they dont try to find talents and rather stick to use minimum players from bench 3.they do very little practical experiments(unlike initial seasons). 4.they work as a team which didnt triggered this year except in fielding 5.everyone in the country knows during half stage of the tournament that only mc cullm is in good touch and there are chances of him to leave the country.but no precautions taken

  • Ravindran on May 20, 2015, 17:55 GMT

    csk can win the two matches only by doing following.

    1.remove hussey.(we need power hitters at the top.hussey is a bastmen who can lay foundation(takes long time).but does chennai has the bricks(middle order) to built anything this season?

    2. negi to open with smith.(apart from mc culm the only other teammate who showed some confident batting is negi.might be toolate for the experiment.but its the only choice)

    3.bring in irfan pathan.not a strong reason,but an allrounder and the best of all the leftouts

  • randolf on May 20, 2015, 16:40 GMT

    @ADI133, One swallow doesn't make a summer. The facts are in the records: the tuth is that most times, the team that bats first wins the match, once they create score board pressue - once this happens the game is done and dusted! It happens one in a 100 games the other way. Check it. If the team batting first does not make enough runs, you are very confident that they would lose. Once one innings is completed, you know the winner of the match! Any score over 165 is too much pressure for the team batting second - the result in cases like this is grossly skewed towards the team that's batting first. A good example is the current match in progress between RCB and RR. I can bet my house that RCB wins by at least 10 runs.

  • tina on May 20, 2015, 15:42 GMT

    @rajesh , jadeja, ashwin, mohit sharma came into national side only after they played for CSk so its wrong to say that they didnt give chances. Also Bravo, Jason Holder, Faf du plessis, George Bailey all became captains of their national side after they played for CSK. Dhoni was right they groom leaders and its proud to see the likes to Bailey, Bravo, Du plessis, Mccullum (captain again now), all captaining their national sides.

  • Dummy4 on May 20, 2015, 13:51 GMT

    I support Dhoni and CSK.. but something which needs to be understand as IPL is played to identify new talent, but unfortunately the CSK team is whole lot of International playing XI except one or two additional player.. We can see from Full squad only 13-14 players played matches rest are being picked up to sit on the bench.. which is injustice to all the players who are on the bench.. CSK needs to give chances to new talents then need to win.. IF you have 10 out 11 international players then its like and World XI against RR, MI, KKR, and so on...

  • pratap on May 20, 2015, 13:00 GMT

    I think CSK should play 3 seamers and 2 spinners. Also they should play with passion to win. In the last 5 overs big hitters like Dhoni/Bravo/Jadeja should play. Even Raina can be asked to play the end overs. Du Plessi may be slotted to open the innings.

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