Mustafizur stars in Ruturaj’s first win as CSK captain



Mustafizur Rahman’s four-for turned out to be the difference between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bengaluru as the former began their IPL 2024 campaign with a six-wicket win. The home side chased down the target of 174 in the 19th over.

An exhibition of cutters

Mustafizur has the run-up of a pace bowler, but ends up bowling a slew of cutters. You can only marvel at his wrist and fingers and how he flicks it at the ‘nth’ moment to employ his off-cutters. A string of batters — Faf du Plessis, Rajat Patidar and Cameron Green — fell to that variation. He also used the slower short ball to send Virat Kohli back to the hut. In the end overs, Mustafizur came in for a bit of punishment. He still finished with noteworthy figures of 4 for 29.

The Rawat-Karthik show

In the recent past, Anuj Rawat came in for some criticism for his inability to make his chances count. But he played with composure and also shifted gears at the right moment to crack a valiant 25-ball 48. In the 18th over, he showcased his hitting prowess by smacking Tushar Deshpande for two sixes and a boundary. The highlight of his innings was shot selection. He waited for deliveries bowled in his hitting zones and cracked shots mainly through the on-side. 

Dinesh Karthik also played his part in that valuable stand by accruing an unbeaten 38 off 26 balls. Incidentally, when the pair joined forces, RCB had lost half their side and were struggling at 78 for 5.

Ravindra’s impressive IPL debut

Rachin Ravindra played with positive intent and accumulated a quick-fire 37 off 15 deliveries. He had his share of narrow escapes, which included a top-edged pull of Yash Dayal that went all the way. But a couple of narrow escapes were sprinkled with some well-timed shots, including a pull that he nailed off Alzarri Joseph. By the time Ravindra fell to Karn Sharma, CSK had already posted 71 in 7 overs.

Dube and Jadeja guide team home

With Green bagging a couple of wickets, CSK found themselves in a spot of bother at 110 for 4. Just that, Ravindra Jadeja and Shivam Dube put on a crucial 66-run undefeated stand to steer the side home. The essence of their partnership was pinching singles and twos. Dube also showcased his pyrotechnics by tonking Joseph over his head. The game ended in a bit of an anti-climax, with CSK collecting four leg-byes to go past RCB’s total. 

Ruturaj Gaikwad, in his first game as CSK’s captain, would be very pleased with how his team soaked up the pressure right through the match. The game was also about CSK’s fans loud cheers for the legendary MS Dhoni, who had stepped down as the skipper before the start of the tournament. 

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