Gaikwad propels Chennai to top with Mumbai romp - GulfToday

Gaikwad propels Chennai to top with Mumbai romp


Ruturaj Gaikwad of Chennai Super Kings poses during award ceremony after their IPL match against Mumbai Indians at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. Courtsey: IPL website

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
Ruturaj Gaikwad’s gritty unbeaten fifty coupled with a blitzkrieg cameo of Dwayne Bravo helped Chennai set up a 20-run victory over Mumbai Indians in the first match of the second leg of the IPL in Dubai on Sunday.

Chasing a target of 157, Mumbai were never in contention as they kept on losing the wickets on regular intervals and failed to get the partnerships going.

None of their batsmen could convert their starts into big scores except Saurabh Tiwary, who remaned unbeaten on 50 but consumed too many deliveries as the asking run rate went beyond reach. Mumbai were restricted to 136/8 in their allotted overs.

With the win, Chennai went on the top of the standings with 12 points from eight games, winning six and losing just two.

Gaikwad smacked a fighting 88 to reach his third fifty of the IPL this season and gave his team enough runs on the board to defend.

Ravindra Jadeja and Gaikwad played resolute innings and shared a 79-run stand for the fifth wicket taking the score to 105/4 after a disastrous start.

Gaikwad was holding the fort alone and waged the war single-handedly as the wicket were tumbling on the other end.

He was put down by wicket-keeper Quinton De Kock when on 19. He went on add another 69 runs to his score. Gaikwad reached his fifty with a boundary off Pollard in 41 deliveries.

He was well supported by Jadeja, who also scored a watchful 26 off 33 ball, hitting just one boundary during his stay at the crease.

Gaikwad and Jadeja pulled Chennai out of rot before Jasprit Bumrah dismissed the latter to break the dangerous-looking partnership.

But the dismissal of Jadeja proved to be costly for Mumbai as it ushered in the T20 specialist Dwayne Bravo, who played a whirlwind innings, taking the Mumbai bowlers by a storm.

Bravo showed why he is called a T20 specialist as he smashed a quick-fire 8-ball 23 to spur the run rate and took the score to a respectable total.

Bravo’s inning was studded with three sixes as he added a blitzkrieg 39 runs with Gaikwad for the sixth wicket as Chennai reached 144/6 in 19.2 overs.

Gaikwad remained unbeaten on 88, hitting four sixes and eight hits to the fence, giving Chennai a fighting total on the board after an early mayhem.

Earlier, pacers gave Mumbai a dream start as they got rid of the Chennai top-order with only 11 runs on the board.

Kiwi quick Trent Boult and Adam Milne were on fire as they did not allow any batsmen to settle down after Chennai won the toss and elected to bat first.

Both the pacers ripped through the Chennai’s top-order to leave them in rot.  Chennai batting line-up crumbled like a pack of cards.

Boult triggered the skid as he got rid of former South African captain Faf De Plessis for a nought on the penultimate ball of the first over.

He had De Plessis caught by Milne when the latter miscued a shot and his New Zealand team-mate completed a clean catch.

Moeen Ali was the next man in. He also could not last longer as Milne sent him back to the pavilion. Moeen was caught at long on by an agile Tiwary.

Ambati Rayudu found it difficult to cope with the pace and the bounce of the ball.

Milne welcomed him with a short-pitched delivery that zoomed passed his ears.

Rayudu was retired hurt after being hit on his elbow adding to the woes of Chennai.  

The onus of anchoring the ship came on the shoulder of Suresh Raina and Ruturaj Gaikwad.

Raina became the second victim of Boult. He was tested with a short ball and was never comfortable against the pace during his short stint at the crease.

Raina’s bat was broken into two pieces as he tried to put away Boult’s delivery but he could manage to find Deepak Chahar, leaving Chennai in tatters.

Mumbai pacers were getting the ball to move on both sides easily.

They exploited the pace and the bounce off the green turf. There was considerable grass on the pitch and ball was coming on the bat faster than anticipated.

Chennai were reeling at 7-3 and they needed someone to play a sheet-anchor role. Captain MS Dhoni came on the pitch to a roaring welcome by the crowd.

Dhoni and Gaikwad added 17 runs for the fourth wicket to take the score to 24/3.  

Gaikwad had settled down well as he hit a couple of boundaries to take the pressure off.

Dhoni tried to pull Milne but could not get hold of the shot, which landed in the safe hands of Boult at the deep square leg.

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