MS Dhoni’s cameo and Pathirana’s four-wicket haul helped CSK to overpower MI in the battle of heavyweights
MS Dhoni of Chennai Superkings during match 29 of the Indian Premier League season 17 (IPL 2024) between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings held at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on the 14th April 2024. Photo by Vipin Pawar / Sportzpics for IPL

A masterclass performance with outstanding planning and execution powered Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to beat Mumbai Indians (MI) by 20 runs in the El Clasico at the Wankhede. CSK successfully defended 206 runs with sensational defensive bowling from its pacers. Rohit Sharma played a breath-taking knock of unbeaten 105 but it was only to MI’s detriment. For large parts, it seemed MI would easily outgun CSK but, led by Matheesha Pathirana, the defending champions’ seamers executed their plans of making batters hit into the bigger part perfectly, and eventually winning the match.

Bowling first, Gerald Coetzee gave MI a fine start by dismissing Ajinkya Rahane for just 5. Rachin Ravindra and Ruturaj Gaikwad steadied the CSK innings with a 52-run partnership. MI took a DRS in the 8th over to remove Ravindra, who batted well for his 21. Although CSK lost Ravindra, Gaikwad and Shivam Dube played attacking innings to keep the scoreboard moving. Both produced few elegant and attacking shots to find the boundary ropes frequently, adding 90 runs for the third wicket.

CSK skipper Gaikwad departed after scoring 69 while Daryl Mitchell chipped in 17. Dube batted at a strike rate of 173.68 to bring up his second half-century of the season and remained unbeaten on 66. However, it was MS Dhoni who turned out to be the hero of CSK’s innings. Called as ‘Thala’ by CSK fans, Dhoni smacked Hardik Pandya for hat-trick of sixes in the final over. Dhoni’s superb cameo of 4-ball 20* pushed CSK to reach 206/4.

In reply, Rohit and Ishan Kishan gave the home side a blistering start. Both rained boundaries to add 70 runs in 7 overs. But Pathirana gave CSK an excellent comeback by dismissing Ishan (23) and Suryakumar Yadav (0) in the same over. Tilak Varma showed positivity with a 31-run knock while other batters. stumbled and lost their wickets cheaply. CSK pacers’ brilliant effort in the death overs secured them a remarkable win.        

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