IPL 2023: Matheesha Pathirana-led CSK pace attack too good for MI
The Sri Lankan slinger took three wickets while Tushar Deshpande and Deepak Chahar claimed two scalps each before MS Dhoni’s side eased to victory at Chennai
Chennai Super Kings’ pace attack of Matheesha Pathirana, Tushar Deshpande and Deepak Chahar combined to perform a starring role at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday as they helped their team return to winning ways against Mumbai Indians in IPL.
At their home, it was the MS Dhoni-led side’s first win after five defeats to MI. They rose to second spot in the table with 13 points after 11 games. MI are on 10 points from 10 games.
Pathirana showed his death bowling prowess to return figures of 4-0-15-3 while Tushar Deshpande and Deepak Chahar were superb with the new ball, sharing the day’s bowling honours with 4-0-26-2 and 3-0-18-2 respectively. The icing on the cake was Deshpande becoming the leading wicket-taker (19) in the tournament.
The trio restricted MI to 139/8 which CSK chased down comfortably, with 14 balls to spare. The six-wicket victory would have come as a relief for CSK fans after two defeats followed by a no result after their game at Lucknow Super Giants was hit by rain.
Devon Conway anchored CSK’s chase with a 42-ball 44 after opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad provided a flying start.
For a misfiring MI, there were just two bright spots -- Nehal Wadhera’s batting and Piyush Chawla’s bowling. The 22-year-old Wadhera provided the visitors something to fight by getting a 51-ball 64, his maiden IPL half-century, after MI had lost three wickets inside the first three overs. Seasoned leg-spinner Chawla came up with another crafty spell to stretch the game with four overs on the trot while picking up two big wickets.
MI had dominated CSK at Chepauk for long, but nothing went according to plan for them there on Saturday afternoon.
From the beginning of the contest, it was clear that CSK were well prepared. After electing to bowl, they seized the initiative in the powerplay with three quick wickets.
MI had hoped to surprise CSK with their move to open with Cameron Green and Ishan Kishan, with skipper Rohit Sharma dropping to No. 3. It backfired. The towering Australian was bowled by Deshpande in the second over trying a premeditated slog.
From the other side, Chahar bowled an excellent second over to take two wickets for three runs and reduce MI to 16/3 after three overs.
Dhoni provided an example of how his captaincy skills are still razor sharp when his opposite number Rohit came out to bat. Knowing that the MI skipper likes to skip down the track to negate swing, especially at Chahar’s pace, he decided to stand up to the wicket. The move worked like a dream. With Dhoni packing the cordon with a slip, short-third man and point, Rohit tried to play the scoop shot, only to lob a catch to the point fielder.
The dangerous Suryakumar Yadav looked to rebuild in the company of Nehal Wadhera. But seasoned left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja provided the breakthrough by clean bowling Yadav in the 11th over.
When MI looked to accelerate in the slog overs by targetting the spinners, the CSK captain brought back his pacers Pathirana and Deshpande to stifle the power-hitters. Generating high speed with some balls touching 150kph, Pathirana the Lasith Malinga clone was outstanding. He bowled the 18th over for just two runs taking one wicket for figures of 3-0-10-1. He finished the innings with a double strike in his final over conceding just five runs.
“Everything (went wrong) I guess. Our batters didn't put up enough runs. We had an off day as a batting unit,” Rohit said.
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