Mumbai got off to an absolute flier as Quinton De Kock showcased his full array of sublime attacking strokes in a belligerent 33 of 20 balls. However, just as this opening partnership was truly about to develop, Piyush Chawla snared the wicket of Rohit Sharma and soon after Sam Curran, the man who “makes things happen”, removed the in-form De Kock.
In came Saurabh Tiwary and he steadied the ship for Mumbai as he played sensibly, yet positively, for a well crafted 42. However, CSK had the happy knack of taking crucial wickets just when the MI batsmen were getting settled at the crease and this trend continued when Faf Du Plessis took 2 fine catches on the boundary of the bowling of Jadeja which sent the set Tiwary and explosive Hardik Pandya back to the pavilion.
The momentum was shifted towards CSK yet again.
Lungi Ngidi, after being smacked around earlier in the match, showed his mental strength and closed out the innings with 3 wickets, including the massive scalp of Kieron Pollard, and MI finished on a highly competitive total of 162.
In the 2nd innings, Trent Boult found some early movement with the new ball and he utilised it to full effect as he removed the dangerous Shane Watson with his trademark inswinger. James Pattinson, on the other hand, bowled with searing pace and hostility and was rewarded with a wicket as he trapped Murali Vijay lbw.
CSK were up against it at 2 for 7 and the 2 batsmen at the crease, Du Plessis and Rayudu, needed to conjure up a miracle to win this game and they certainly delivered.
Rayudu was the aggressor ticking with some sumptuous strokes while Faf Du Plessis played the role of a facilitator as he knocked the ball around for ones and twos while ruthlessly punishing the bad balls.
This strategy paid off as CSK, against the odds, got to 121 for 2 until Rayudu fell for a dazzling 71 to a clever piece of bowling from Rahul Chahar and it was left to Du Plessis to get CSK over the line.
Jadeja came and went for a quickfire 10 but then in came Sam Curran who, brought in to target the left-arm spin of Krunal Pandya, slapped a blistering 18 of 6 and made CSK overwhelming favourites to win the game.
The man of the moment, Faf Du Plessis, finished the game off in Dhoni- esque style and ended on a match-winning knock of 58 while the master finisher, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was only required to face 2 balls which highlights the amount of batting depth that CSK possesses.
In all, it was an enticing game with countless twists and turns and, as a CSK fan, it was great to start the season with a win (especially as it was against Mumbai Indians!) and I hope that this impressive performance sets the tone for the rest of the season…