Gaikwad, Bowlers Give Astute CSK Winning Start To UAE Leg

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Gaikwad, bowlers give astute CSK winning start to UAE leg. Ruturaj Gaikwad scored an imperious back-to-the-wall 88* off 58 balls.

Gaikwad, Bowlers Give Astute CSK Winning Start To UAE LegRuturaj Gaikwad scored an imperious back-to-the-wall 88* off 58 balls.

Ruturaj Gaikwad scored an imperious back-to-the-wall 88* off 58 balls as Chennai Super Kings recovered from 24 for 4 to post 156 – a score their bowlers defended astutely for a 20-run win over Mumbai Indians. The victory gave CSK a winning start to the UAE leg of IPL 2021 also propelling them to the top of the points table in the process.

Why was 156 such a tough target for the defending champions?

A combination of their inexperience and CSK's tactical smartness. MI were without two of their main batsmen, Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya (More on that, later in this report) but MS Dhoni had his chief PowerPlay operator, Deepak Chahar, strike twice inside the restrictions.

Quinton de Kock hit three boundaries before walking across and missing a straight ball from Chahar. Anmolpreet Singh was befuddled by a slower ball and was cleaned up. When Shardul Thakur dismissed Suryakumar Yadav, Mumbai Indians were up against it.

Tell us about CSK's tactical moves…

Dwayne Bravo had just one session of bowling before this game but struck almost immediately when Ishan Kishan hit an uppish drive to a strategically-placed short cover fielder.

Then, for stand-in captain and chief differentiator of these games, Kieron Pollard, Dhoni brought back Josh Hazlewood with 70 needed from 42. Despite conceding 26 in his first two overs, Hazlewood delivered the perfect ball in his second spell, pinning Pollard to the crease with a full, straight ball. The LBW dismissal effectively closed the game despite a half-century from Saurabh Tiwary.

Back to the first innings & CSK's batting wobble

Mumbai Indians' fast bowlers took exactly two wickets in 33 PowerPlay overs in the India leg of this season. Today, Adam Milne and Trent Boult took 2 for 11 each from their three-over spells to leave CSK reeling at 24 for 4 at the end of six overs.

For the 10th time in his IPL career, Boult took a wicket in the first over, getting Faf du Plessis to hit one straight to short third-man. He then set Suresh Raina up with a sequence of short balls and then had him playing well away from the line to a fuller ball that not just broke Raina's bat but also lobbed up to point for a catch.

Between these two dismissals, Milne, fresh from his impressive showings in The Hundred, had Moeen Ali caught at cover with a ball that stopped on the left-hander. Ambati Rayudu copped a painful blow to his forearm and retired hurt and Dhoni pulled Milne straight to the stationed deep square-leg fielder off the last ball of the PowerPlay.

Could Mumbai Indians have drilled home their advantage?

Most certainly. Understanding the assistance on offer for the seamers, stand-in captain Kieron Pollard bowled himself and Jasprit Bumrah for an over each after the PowerPlay but no more as spinners came on to ease CSK's lives.

That said, Rahul Chahar did create an opportunity in his first over to dismiss Gaikwad but Quinton de Kock couldn't hold on to the thin edge. Gaikwad was batting on 19 off 24 then.

Now coming to Gaikwad's innings…

It was a knock of great maturity, which many of his seniors in the team would be proud of. Having survived the Milne-Boult bursts, Gaikwad used Krunal Pandya's over to work some momentum into CSK's innings. He stepped out and hit the left-arm spinner over long-off for six and then pulled out the reverse-sweep to beat point. 27 runs came off Krunal's first two overs and a flick was switched on.

With Ravindra Jadeja dropping anchor, Gaikwad added 63 runs over nine middle overs. His best was still to come. In the death, he lofted a Bumrah slower ball over extra cover for a six and in the following over, walked across the stumps and picked Boult off his pads for a four and a six. In the final over, bowled by Bumrah, he played a textbook lofted cover-drive off Bumrah and finished the innings with an audacious swept six off a low Bumrah full toss. Gaikwad finished with 88 off 58 and Bravo's enterprising 8-ball 23 meant CSK had 69 from the last 5 overs to post a competitive 156.

Injury Watch:

Mumbai Indians played without two of their talismen. Rohit Sharma experienced discomfort in his left knee post his second-innings century against England at The Oval. Mahela Jayawardene did say his captain was pretty close to being fit for this game but was rested on precautionary grounds. MI's head coach also revealed that Hardik Pandya had picked up a niggle while training and was also rested on precautionary grounds.

Meanwhile, CSK's Stephen Fleming confirmed that Rayudu only suffered a bruising to his forearm and not a bone break as was feared.

Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings156/6 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 88*, Dwayne Bravo 23; Adam Milne 2-21) beat Mumbai Indians136/8 in 20 overs (Saurabh Tiwary 50*; Dwayne Bravo 3-25, Deepak Chahar 2-19)by 20 runs.

What's next for the teams:

Mumbai Indians will drive across the border to their home base in Abu Dhabi where they host Kolkata Knight Riders, a team they hold a 22-6 H2H equation against, on Thursday. CSK travel to Sharjah for their Friday evening encounter against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

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