Gaikwad heroics sends CSK top of IPL

A wonderful unbeaten half-century from Rujurat Gaikwad helped the Chennai Super Kings to a comfortable 20-run victory over the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on Sunday.

The young 24-year old smashed nine boundaries and four sixes in his unbeaten 88 from just 58 balls to help CSK to a competitive 156 for six after MS Dhoni had won the toss and elected to bat first. In reply, Mumbai struggled on a sluggish pitch with only Saurabh Tiwary making any impression with the bat, ending unbeaten on 50 from 40 deliveries with five boundaries as Mumbai ended on 136 for eight.

Chennai had began the resumption of the IPL in disastrous fashion as the New Zealand pair of Trent Boult (4-1-35-2) and Adam Milne (4-0-21-2) decimated the Chennai top-order with Faf du Plessis (0), Moeen Ali (0), Suresh Raina (4) and Dhoni (3) all back in the hut early. Added to Chennai’s bad start was that Ambati Rayudu was forced to retire without scoring after taking a ball on his left fore-arm.

But Gaikwad, landing his 6th IPL fifty in 14 starts, batted well with Ravindra Jadeja (26) in a 6th-wicket stand of 81 from only 68 balls to rescue the Super Kings from a perilous position. Dwayne Bravo (23) smashed three sixes from just eight balls to help boost the innings at the backend.

But it was Gaikwad’s calmness at the crease that was key to his innings. The young left-hander never panicked and despite his first two boundaries coming off the edge of his bat, the balance of his innings was measured and controlled.

In reply, Mumbai were never really able to stamp their authority on the chase. Deepak Chahar (4-0-19-2) was key upfront, removing Quinton de Kock (17), trapped in front and then clean-bowling Anmolpreet Singh (16).

Saurabh Yadav (3) was removed cheaply by Shardul Thakur (4-0-29-1) before Bravo (4-0-25-3) put paid to any victory plans the Mumbai Indians had. Bravo had the dangerous Ishant Kishan (11) brilliantly caught by Raina at short mid-wicket which brought the Mumbai captain, Kieron Pollard to the crease.

Pollard, who smashed an unbeaten 87 the last time these two teams met, smashed one four and a six before being trapped in front by Josh Hazlewood (4-0-34-10) to send the crowd into a rapturous frenzy. Krunal Pandya (4) was run out by Bravo after a mix-up with Tiwary before Bravo finished off the match, having Milne (15) caught in the deep and having Deepak caught by Raina in the final over.

Chennai move to the top of the log on 12 points from eight games, ahead of the Dehli Capitals on nett run-rate while the Mumbai Indians remain in fourth position on eight points from the same amount of games.

As published on Supersport.com

Author: Brendon

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