IPL: Pathirana bowls CSK to victory over Mumbai Indians
SUMMARY: Chennai Super Kings 140-4 (Conway 44, Gaikwad 30; Chawla 2-25) beat Mumbai Indians 139-8 (Wadhera 64, Suryakumar 26; Pathirana 3-15) by six wickets
On a pitch where the ball was stopping, it was actually Chennai Super Kings’ pace trio of Matheesha Pathirana, Deepak Chahar and Tushar Deshpande which combined to take seven wickets and restrict Mumbai Indians to 139.
Super Kings never looked in trouble during the chase at Chepauk, where Ruturaj Gaikwad’s rapid cameo in the first four overs set them up for the six-wicket win.
Chahar’s twin strikes had reduced Mumbai to 14-3 in the third over; and although Nehal Wadhera and Suryakumar Yadav added 55 to stage a recovery, Pathirana applied the brakes in the death overs. Mumbai managed only 17 – while losing four wickets – in the last three overs, as Wadhera’s maiden T20 fifty turned out to be a solitary effort.
The win takes Super Kings to the second spot on the points table, even as third-placed Lucknow Super Giants have an extra game in hand. Mumbai on the other hand, remain sixth.
Pathirana, middle and death-overs specialist
Only twice in the seven matches this season has Pathirana been introduced before the 11th over. For anyone to have bowled at least 120 balls in that period, he has the best economy rate and average during that phase.
On Saturday, he was introduced in the 13th over, just after Wadhera and Suryakumar had given Mumbai hope of a respectable total. Pathirana’s first two overs went for only eight off the bat, and MS Dhoni kept his remaining overs for the death. He returned to start the 18th after the two overs before that were taken for 29 and gave only two runs aside from bowling Wadhera. Seeing the batter make room, he fired a yorker which hit middle stump at 145kph.
Pathirana mixed his lengths as much as he varied his pace. That – combined with the two-paced nature of the pitch – might have been why Tristan Stubbs struggled for timing, eventually slicing to cover-point on being foxed by a slower ball. Pathirana ended with 3-15 – all wickets came in the death overs – and further enhanced his reputation of being the season’s best death bowler so far for a minimum of 60 balls bowled in that phase.
Wadhera propels Mumbai to 139
With Tilak Varma out injured for this game, Mumbai were missing a solid middle-order batter. And forced to rebuild after the top-order failure, Wadhera opened up after the powerplay when he gently cut Ravindra Jadeja for four to deep backward point, and then drilled Moeen Ali to deep extra cover.
Once Wadhera picked up some momentum, he looked confident enough to keep attacking spin: Jadeja was slog-swept over short fine to start the 11th over, before he beat short fine leg with another sweep off Maheesh Theekshana in the 14th. And with five overs to go, he cracked the innings’ first six by launching Theekshana over long-on.
Wadhera’s fifty took 46 deliveries when it was raised in the 17th over, after which he swept, pulled and scooped Jadeja for fours, although his knock of 64 didn’t prove enough.
Gaikwad starts in a hurry, Dube finishes in style
Super Kings posted 46 in the first four overs, out of which Gaikwad had bashed 30. That included four fours and two sixes, as he got Super Kings’ chase rolling alongside Devon Conway. The first over included a drive and a flick for four off Cameron Green, while he turned the screw in the third over.
Mumbai introduced left-arm seamer Arshad Khan, and Gaikwad went 6, 4, 4, 6: a pull over midwicket, a guide behind point, a punch past the bowler and a swivel-pull over long leg. Gaikwad was dismissed off the first ball of the fifth over by Piyush Chawla, who again turned out to be the standout performer with the ball for Mumbai.
Although Chawla was hit for a four and a six by Ajinkya Rahane, he had the last laugh when he trapped the Super Kings batter with a googly in the ninth over. That came after earlier getting Gaikwad with the leg-spinner. Chawla’s four overs went for only 25, and he was bowled out inside 11 overs.
Soon after, the platform that Gaikwad had laid was further built by Shivam Dube, who provided the finishing kick. Two sixes off debutant left-arm wrist-spinner Raghav Goyal in the 14th over and one swung off Arshad Khan to Mumbai’s dugout two balls before the winning run took Super Kings to a comfortable win after they had lost two and had a game washed out just before. (ESPNcricinfo)