Mumbai Indians (MI) completed their third win over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in this IPL season to race into the finals of the tournament. Asked to bowl first at Chepauk, Mumbai used their spinners to restrict Chennai and later hit back through a half-century from Suryakumar Yadav in a run-chase of 132. CSK will now face the winners of the Eliminator between Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Delhi Capitals (DC).
Here are the best moments from Qualifier 1.
Sloppy CSK, lucky Suryakumar
Chennai Super Kings were sloppy in the field defending a low target and ended up giving the Mumbai Indians batsmen more time in the middle. In the very first over of the chase, Deepak Chahar induced an edge off Suryakumar Yadav that went just past Imran Tahir at gully. Had a quicker fielder been there at the position, Yadav would have been dismissed for a duck.
A few overs later, Murali Vijay ended up giving another life to Yadav. The batsman had punched Deepak Chahar off the back foot towards mid-on but Vijay couldn't cling on. The ball yet again went for a boundary. In the 15th over, Yadav got another life as Jadeja produced an outside edge that Watson at first slip couldn't reach out to. Like the previous two instances, the ball went away for a boundary.
Mumbai stifle Chennai with spin in Powerplay
The sluggish surface meant that Chennai opted to bat first to make the best use of a deteriorating wicket. But they were in for an anti-choke as Rohit Sharma used his spinners upfront to counter the overseas duo of Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson. Krunal Pandya bowled the second over after Lasith Malinga's opening over and Rahul Chahar and Jayant Yadav continued after him.
Krunal nearly got the better of du Plessis when the batsman slashed one over point but Chahar made amends when he had the South African in similar fashion next over. Suresh Raina was then dismissed by off-spinner Jayant Yadav, top-edging a slog straight back to the bowler. Watson was then dismissed on the last ball of Powerplay by Krunal as CSK languished at 32/3 at the end of first six overs.
Deepak Chahar with a cracker to dent Mumbai early
Deepak Chahar is a master at exploiting any swing on offer. A Powerplay specialist, Chahar has taken 13 wickets in the first six overs this IPL season, the most by any bowler, but his most important wicket perhaps came on Tuesday when he had Rohit Sharma playing all around a superb outswinger.
Off the second ball of the chase, Chahar landed the ball around middle-stump and curved it to off-stump to put Rohit in a tangle. Never comfortable against swing, Rohit found himself all at sea against the outswinger and missed it entirely as it crashed onto his pads. The umpire upheld CSK's appeal and even though Rohit reviewed the decision, replays showed that the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps. Chahar's early blow gave CSK some momentum after they had disappointed with the bat.
Dhoni lifts Malinga for back to back sixes
Chennai Super Kings needed their skipper to go big in the death overs after a very average total heading into the final few overs. With Malinga and Bumrah manning the end overs, it was not an easy task for Dhoni but he did his best in the penultimate over against Malinga, slamming him for back to back sixes to lift Chennai past 120.
Malinga went around the wicket to Dhoni to look to cut down his arc and was successful first up with a toe crusher. The next time he tried a yorker to Dhoni — on the third ball of the over — he missed and gifted a length ball that the CSK skipper hit over long-on for a six. He dished out another length ball next and Dhoni once again thumped him through the same region for another maximum.
When everything slipped out
On the first delivery of the final over of CSK's innings, the ball slipped out of Jasprit Bumrah's hand and a full toss ensued that MS Dhoni looked to slog across the line into the orbit. Instead, the bat slipped out of his hand and flew to fine-leg while the ball took off after hitting the bat and the catch was pouched. Mumbai started celebrating the wicket and Dhoni started walking off with the Chepauk crowd going dead silent.
However, Nigel Llong wanted to check for a front foot no-ball and replays showed that Bumrah had overstepped. The crowd erupted in joy as the umpire recalled the batsman. The no-ball had initially slipped the umpire's eyes but the check went upstairs that saved Dhoni. However, he could not do much damage against a rampaging Bumrah and scored just six runs off the four balls he faced after the no-ball.