A high-quality bowling performance from Chennai Super Kings (CSK), led by young pacer Matheesha Pathirana's 3-15, set the base for the four-time champions' six-wicket win against Mumbai Indians in a one-sided Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday.
Pathirana was on fire in his spell at the back end of the innings, giving away just 15 runs in his four overs, not conceding a single boundary while picking three wickets, denying Mumbai the finishing kick they needed after losing their top three batters in power-play as they ended up at 139/8.
He was also supported by Deepak Chahar and Tushar Deshpande taking two wickets each while Ravindra Jadeja had a scalp to his name. For Mumbai, barring Nehal Wadhera's 64 off 50 balls and Piyush Chawla's spell of 2-25, no other player stepped up to the occasion as Chennai chased down 140 with 14 balls to spare.
The win also means Chennai recorded their first win over Mumbai at home after 4,777 days, making it just the second time after 2014 that they recorded two league stage wins over the visitors. With the convincing victory, Chennai also climbed to second place in the points table with 13 points, while Mumbai continue to be in sixth position with 10 points.
Electing to bowl first, Chennai left Mumbai in tatters, starting from Deshpande hitting Cameron Green's top of off-stump with a short-of-a-length delivery which didn't bounce much in the second over.
Chahar then dealt Mumbai a double blow in the third over Ishan Kishan got a top edge on a heave and was caught at mid-on, while Rohit Sharma, walking out to bat at number three, fell for a three-ball duck after mistiming a scoop to backward point.
Wadhera and Suryakumar Yadav steadied the Mumbai innings by hitting five boundaries from overs 5-8. While Suryakumar was fluent in his pull and drive, Wadhera was beautiful in timing his cut and drive through the off-side against the spinners.
But the 55-run partnership came to an end in the 11th over when Yadav tried to back away and cut off Jadeja. But the ball was flatter and quicker, as Jadeja got to hit the middle stump.
Wadhera marched forward to sweep Maheesh Theekshana for four, followed by dancing down the pitch to loft over long-on for six. After reaching his fifty in 46 balls with a brace off Jadeja, he slog-swept, pulled and swept the left-arm spinner for three boundaries.
But Pathirana dismissed Wadhera for 64 in the 18th over with a fiery 145kph yorker which kept low to go past the attempted flick after the batter shuffled across and hit the base of the middle stump with great accuracy.
Mumbai didn't get the desired finishing flourish as Tim David holed out to long-off against Deshpande while Arshad Khan sliced straight to deep point and Tristan Stubbs mistimed a loft to running cover off Pathirana, as five runs and two wickets came off the final over.
Gaikwad began the chase by lofting and flicking Green for two fours in the opening over. His onslaught continued in the third over when he effortlessly pulled twice for sixes while punching and driving for two fours off Arshad.
From the other end, Conway got up and running with an exquisite leg glance off Jofra Archer for four and feasted on the pacer's deliveries by whipping through mid-wicket and cutting hard through backward point for a brace of fours in the fourth over.
Chawla struck on his very first ball in the fifth over as Gaikwad went for the pull, but ended up skying in the air, giving the wicketkeeper ample time to take the catch. Ajinkya Rahane timed his aerial shots very well for four and six against Chawla, but the leg-spinner had the last laugh by trapping the right-handed batter lbw with a googly in the ninth over.
With spinners becoming hard to hit, Conway and Ambati Rayudu resorted to strike-rotation till the latter danced down the pitch to smack part-time spin of Tristan Stubbs for a mighty six over wide long-on, breaking a 24-ball no-boundary spree.
But on the very next ball, Stubbs changed his angle and had Rayudu slicing a quicker delivery straight to short third man. Shivam Dube added impetus to the chase by pulling and slog-sweeping debutant spinner Raghav Goyal for a brace of sixes in the 14th over.
Though Conway was trapped lbw by Akash Madhwal, Dube swivelled Arshad over fine leg for six, before MS Dhoni calmly finished off the chase with 14 balls to spare via a pull through backward square leg, much to the delight of the yellow-wearing vociferous crowd.
Mumbai Indians 139/8 in 20 overs (Nehal Wadhera 64; Matheesha Pathirana 3-15, Deepak Chahar 2-18) lost to Chennai Super Kings 140/4 in 17.4 overs (Devon Conway 44, Ruturaj Gaikwad 30; Piyush Chawla 2-25) by six wickets