Bravo’s blitz stuns Mumbai in IPL opener


In a match befitting of a clash between two of the best sides in the Indian Premier League, the Chennai Super Kings held their nerve to defeat the defending champions Mumbai Indians in the opening game of VIVO IPL 2018.

Set a target of 166, CSK were down and out for all counts when they were reduced to 118-8. When everything appeared lost to CSK’s cause, Dwayne Bravo turned the match on its head through an incredible blitz.

His dismissal at the end of the 19th over, with his team needing a further seven runs, swung the pendulum in favour of MI once again. Kedar Jadhav (24 not out from 22 balls), who had retired hurt earlier in the innings after injuring his hamstring, returned at the fall of Bravo’s wicket; he played out three dot deliveries before scooping the fourth ball for a six over fine-leg.

The following delivery, standing on one leg, he drilled the ball through the off-side to lead CSK to a famous win. CSK prevailed by one wicket, getting over the line with one ball to spare.

Courtesy CSK’s thrilling win, MI’s run of not winning the season opening match went up by one; they have not won the opener in six seasons now.

Bravo waged a lone battle and converted what looked like a certain defeat into a win. The Trinidadian walked out to bat in the twelfth over, at which stage the score read 75-5. He watched his team slip further to 118-8 when Mark Wood was dismissed in the 17th over.

That’s when he decided to take matters into his own hands. In the following over, he got stuck into Mitchell McClenaghan in what can be identified as the turnaround over; Bravo hit the left-arm pacer for 6, 4, 2, 4 and collected a single off the final ball. CSK were suddenly back in the race.

In the following over, Bravo hit the first two deliveries bowled by Jasprit Bumrah into the stands, and did that a third time later in the over. He was dismissed off the last ball of the 19th over, when he picked out the fielder at extra cover. But his 68 – made from 30 deliveries and studded with three fours and seven sixes – had brought CSK to the brink.

Earlier in the evening, the Mumbai Indians innings had three batsmen making 40s – but the one knock that had the biggest impact was Krunal Pandya’s unbeaten 22-ball 41.

The left-hander came in to bat with 32 balls remaining in the innings; he dominated the strike, collected boundaries with ease and took MI to what was nearly a match-winning total on the night. Krunal opened his account with a boundary through cover.  

He thereafter got stuck into Mark Wood, whom he hit for 17 runs in the 17th over of the innings and 16 runs in the 19th over of the innings. Against the remaining bowlers, Krunal only managed to score eight runs off 12 balls. (IPL)


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