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Rayudu, du Plessis slam half-centuries as CSK beat MI in IPL opener
Abu Dhabi, September 19, 2020
Half-centuries from Ambati Rayudu (71) and Faf du Plessis (58 not out), coupled with a blistering six-ball cameo from Sam Curran (18), helped last year's runners-up Chennai Super Kings (CSK) beat reigning champions Mumbai Indians (MI) by five wickets in the opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Saturday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
This is the first time that CSK have beaten the MI after five matches in the IPL.
After limiting MI to 162/9 earlier in the evening, CSK got off to a shaky start in their chase. Openers Shane Watson and Murali Vijay were dismissed in the first two overs and CSK found themselves 6/2 at the start of the third.
However, the next wicket came only 14 overs later and during this time, du Plessis and Rayudu put up 115 for the third wicket to practically take the game away from MI.
Rayudu took the attack to the opposition, smashing six fours and three sixes in a 48-ball knock. He was also helped by MI not able to hold on to their catches, surviving a close call in the ninth over when he was on 27 and then later off the second ball of the 16th over bowled by Rahul Chahar. He eventually fell off the last ball of the over, with Chahar taking an impressive catch sprinting backwards off his own bowling.
However, Sam Curran then launched a six-ball blinder to close any chance that MI may have visualised of winning the match. du Plessis ended the match with consecutive fours off the first two balls of the 20th and last over.
Earlier, after a good start, Mumbai Indians (MI) managed just 22 runs and lost three wickets in the last three overs to be restricted to 162/9 after CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni put them in to bat first.
Lungi Ngidi (3/38) struck twice in the penultimate over and Deepak Chahar (2/32) took one as CSK put the brakes on the MI innings after the defending champions were 121/3 at the start of the 15th over.
Captain Rohit Sharma (12) and his opening partner Quinton de Kock (33) got MI off to a quick start. The pair put up 46 runs in the first five overs before Rohit holed out to Sam Curran off Piyush Chawla (1/21). de Kock was dismissed in the very next over by Curran (1/28) with the latter hitting the ball straight down the throat of Shane Watson at midwicket.
Saurabh Tiwary (42) and Suryakumar Yadav (17) kept the boat steady for the next five overs with the former taking Ngidi to the cleaners in the 13th over.
However, the wheels started to fall off for MI soon after that over with Ravindra Jadeja taking two wickets in the 15th over. Ngidi then came back in the 'death' overs to make amends for an expensive one earlier in the match as the likes of Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard failed to fire for MI.
Brief scores: MI 162/9 (Saurabh Tiwary 42, Quinton de Kock 33; Lungi Ngidi 3/38) lost to CSK 166/5 (Rayudu 71, du Plessis 58 not out; Boult 1/23) by five wickets.