After months of speculation and anticipation, IPL 2020 flagged off with the marquee clash between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. Ambati Rayudu and du Plessis were the saviours for the three-time champions.
Chennai Super Kings elected to bowl first in Abu Dhabi on a surface which had an even covering of grass. MS Dhoni marked his return to cricket since the 2019 World Cup semi-final and announcing his retirement from international cricket. Captain Cool handed debuts to Sam Curran and Piyush Chawla for the franchise. Rohit Sharma also introduced two debutants in the form of overseas pacers James Pattinson and Trent Boult.
The Hitman got the tournament underway with a boundary off Deepak Chahar while de Kock started aggressively as well. The opening pair got the side off to a budding start with boundaries at regular intervals. With Deepak Chahar and Lungi Ngidi going for plenty of runs, Dhoni handed the ball to Piyush Chawla who struck instantly with the wicket of Sharma.
De Kock followed suit soon after a soft dismissal to Sam Curran. Saurabh Tiwary and Hardik Pandya looked to take the game away from the Yellow Army with a menacing stand. Faf du Plessis’ sensational catches brought an end to their time at the crease in the same over. CSK dragged that game back in the final overs restrict Mumbai Indians to 162-9 after 20 overs.
Rayudu’s heroics in trouble yield CSK crucial points
Mumbai Indians struck gold in the early phases of the powerplay with the wickets of both the openers. The new ball combination worked as Boult and Pattinson removed Watson and Vijay from the equation.
After his heroics on the field, Faf du Plessis played the role of the vital anchor with Ambati Rayudu at the other end. Rayudu looked in sublime touch and slowly swung the pendulum in favour of CSK.
Mumbai Indians’ spin attack failed to get hold of the game like CSK’s spinners did. Ambati Rayudu was dismissed for a well made 71 with the third wicket partnership yielding 115 runs.
To combat the final over of Krunal Pandya, MS Dhoni sent left-handed batsmen Ravindra Jadeja and Sam Curran up the order. The move worked as both the batsmen scored a collective of 28 runs in 11 deliveries. Curran struck two boundaries in Bumrah’s final over to seal the bowler’s off day with the white ball.
With only runs required off the last over, du Plessis fittingly struck two fours to seal CSK’s first points on the table.
Mumbai Indians: 162-9 ( 20 overs) (S.Tiwary 43; L.Ngidi 3-38)
Chennai Super Kings: 166-5 (19.2 overs) (A.Rayudu 71; T.Boult 1-23)