Mumbai, April 17: Openers Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum shared a breathtaking 109-run stand off 44 balls as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) outplayed Mumbai Indians (MI) by 6 wickets for their third straight win in the Indian Premier League 2015 (IPL 8) here tonight.
MI recovered from a poor start to post a competitive 183 for seven but Smith (62 runs off 30 balls) and Mcullum (46 off 20) ensured CSK chased down the target with 20 balls to spare.
The lone bowler who stood out in the high-scoring game was Super Kings' Ashish Nehra, who took three wickets for 23 runs in his four overs.
Suresh Raina (43*) and Dwayne Bravo (13*) took the visitors home after both the dangerous openers fell in the same over, but not before enthralling the Wankhede crowd with their brutal hitting.
It was CSK's third victory in as many games while Mumbai Indians suffered their fourth loss in a row.
The game was only going CSK's way after Mcullum and Smith toyed with the Mumbai Indians bowling attack.
Smith hammered four sixes and eight boundaries while McCullum was not far behind with six fours and two sixes.
Earlier, blistering half-centuries from captain Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard enabled Mumbai Indians to recover from a poor start.
Opting to bat, Mumbai plunged to a sorry-reading 12 for three and then 57 for 4 before they were revived by Sharma (50 off 31 balls) and Pollard (64 off 30) as the duo put on a pulsating stand of 75 runs off just 33 balls for the fifth wicket.
While Sharma batted in his usual aggressive manner to hit five fours and a six, Pollard collared the Super Kings attack to strike five sixes and four fours.
The initial recovery work was laid by a quick 24 off 21 balls by Harbhajan Singh, who was surprisingly promoted ahead of the big West Indian.
Towards the end, Ambati Rayudu too came up with a cameo knock of 29, which included three sixes and a four, in the company of Pollard. Both fell to catches in the deep in the last over bowled by Dwayne Bravo.
Pollard not only regaled the big crowd with some big-hitting but also helped Mumbai add 121 runs in the second half of the innings after they were reduced to 62 for 4 in 10 overs.
The Super Kings bowling attack looked clueless about stopping Pollard. Jadeja went for 49 runs, including 26 in his fourth over while R. Ashwin conceded 13 in his only over. The other India regular, Mohit Sharma, gave away 43 runs for one wicket.
Mumbai Indians were off to a poor start as they lost their first three wickets inside four overs. Nehra sent back Parthiv Patel leg before for a first-ball duck, when the batsman shuffled across to the fourth ball of the innings.
Corey Anderson was caught brilliantly by Faf du Plessis off Nehra. Simmons, playing his first game of the season in place of the injured Aaron Finch, went on the offensive in the fourth over from Ishwar Pandey before falling to the same bowler.
MI's think-tank surprisingly promoted Harbhajan Singh, who smashed a quick-fire 64 in 21 balls in the previous home game against Kings XI Punjab, even ahead of Pollard.
It proved to be a productive move as Rohit and Harbhajan pushed the score along to 31 at the end of the power play overs.
Harbhajan batted aggressively to smack two fours and a six over long on off Jadeja as he and captain Sharma added 45 useful runs off 35 balls to take the score past 50 before he mistimed a shot off Mohit to be caught at backward point.
ALL OVER - Dominant CSK have registered their third win in a row. Bravo hits Pollard for a SIX as CSK win by 6 wickets in 16.4 overs.
After 14 overs, CSK 158/3. They need 26 more to win off 36 balls. This should be over in a jiffy. Raina on the charge
After 12 overs, CSK 143/2. Chennai are cruising towards victory. 41 more needed off 48 balls. Raina and Du Plessis in the middle.
Blazing start - After 6 overs of powerplay, CSK openers have plundered 90 runs. Smith has raced to his half century in just 22 balls.
END OF INNINGS - MI 183/7 in 20 overs. Pollard and Rohit have lifted the hosts from dire straits. They were reeling at 12/3 and then 57/4. Pollard and Rohit's 75-run partnership in just 5.3 overs for the 5th wicket turned things around. Rohit hit 50 off 31 (5x4, 1x6). Pollard smashed 64 off 30 (4x4, 5x6).
Pollard raced to his half century in just 21 balls. He was severe on Jadeja, hitting him for 30 in 9 balls (4x6, 1x4). The left-arm spinner finished with 0/49 in 4 overs. Nehra was CSK's best bowler with 3/23 in 4.
After 15 overs, MI 132/5. Pollard and Rohit have counter-attacked CSK bowlers. Jadeja got hammered all over the ground. His 4 overs cost 0/49. Rohit got out on the last ball of 15th over for 50 off 31. More big hits to follow from Pollard in final 5 overs
After 10 overs, MI 62/4. Rohit and Harbhajan repaired the early damage, but the latter was out in the 10th over after a 21-ball 24. Pollard has joined his captain
After 5 overs, MI 20/3. Parthiv (0), Anderson (4) and Simmons (5) are the batsmen out. Nehra (2) and Pandey (1) the wicket-takers. CSK have dominated so far. Harbhajan, a surprise choice at No. 5, is with Rohit
After 3 overs, MI 8/2. Ashish Nehra with both wickets. CSK on top at the start. Brilliant catch by Faf du Plessis to dismiss Corey Anderson. Captain Rohit and Lendl Simmons batting now
TOSS - Rohit wins toss. MI to bat first
Head-to-head - MI 9; CSK 9
3 changes for MI - Aaron Finch (injured), Shreyas Gopal, Unmukt Chand out; Lendl Simmons, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu in
CSK - Unchanged
CSK are in second position in the league table. They have won both their matches. Unbeaten Rajasthan Royals (RR) are on top with 4 wins. MI are at 8th and loss without any points.
MI will be concerned with the form of their captain. Rohit has collected 2 ducks in a row after starting off well with 98 runs.
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Former India batsman Aakash Chopra questions dropping of Unmukt
Chand gets dropped after only one game...if he was good enough for one game, why not for one more game? #IPL— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) April 17, 2015