Dube, Pathirana, Gaikwad star in CSK’s win


In a game that had its share of ebbs and flows, Chennai Super Kings clawed their way back to pip arch-rivals, Mumbai Indians, by 20 runs at Wankhede Stadium. MI could muster 186 in a chase of 207.

Dhoni’s hitting prowess

At 42, MS Dhoni still cracks bazooka hits. He gave further evidence of his power-hitting by thwacking Hardik Pandya, the MI skipper, for three sixes in a row. The way he stood tall and smacked Hardik off the third ball of that over was the highlight of all those shots. He then took a double off the last ball of the final over as CSK added 26 runs. 

Dube, Gaikwad power CSK

Shivam Dube once more showcased his pyrotechnics with a 38-ball 66. The cornerstone of his innings was the two sixes and two fours he smacked off Romario Shepherd in the 14th over. He even landed a fine pull stroke in that over. In the 10th over, too, he had thumped Shepherd for a couple of boundaries.

Ruturaj Gaikwad also found the right gears and scored a 40-ball 69. Incidentally, he had come into the match with a strike rate of just over 117 in IPL 2024. So, the CSK camp would be pleased with how their skipper went about scoring his runs. 

Pathirana’s heroics 

One of the key figures of CSK’s triumph was Matheesha Pathirana. The fast bowler, who troubles batters with his slingy action, bagged wickets at crucial junctures and returned redoubtable figures of 4 for 28 from four overs. When he was introduced into the attack, MI were 70 for no loss. He immediately made an impact by sending Ishan Kishan back to the hut. He then dismissed the dangerous Suryakumar Yadav, with the No. 3 bat upper-cutting one to deep third, where Mustafizur Rahman pouched a fine catch. 

Pathirana was also instrumental in breaking the threatening stand between Rohit Sharma and Tilak Varma by dismissing the latter. He kept it simple in the slog overs and was rewarded with the prized scalp of Shepherd. Shardul Thakur also made his presence felt with the ball in hand, encapsulated by the fact that MI could only add two runs of his bowling in the 15th over.

Rohit’s hundred goes in vain

For long periods of the game, Rohit played with bravado. Leave alone his trademark lofted shots, he even brought out the slog-sweep and switch-hit. However, after Tilak was dislodged, Rohit lost a bit of his momentum. Hardik’s 2 off 6 deliveries also perhaps played a small role in Rohit struggling for rhythm. He also seemed to be trying to muscle the ball during that phase. Eventually, Rohit did regain his touch, but by then, MI had fallen too far behind. It was a fine unbeaten 105 off 63 balls from Rohit, but his knock went in vain.

Bad day in office for Hardik

The MI skipper’s woes in the ongoing IPL continued. He couldn’t make an impact either with the bat or with the ball. To make matters worse, his leadership was a tad below par. With the ball in hand, Hardik seems to be bowling lots of floaty stuff, and that is a worrying sign with the T20 World Cup on the horizon. And with the willow, he is struggling against hard length bowling.