Mumbai Indians vs. Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2014: Highlights, Scorecard, Report

Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2014

Chennai Super Kings Faf du Plessis, second left, reacts with team members as they take the wicket of Highveld Lions' Quinton de Kock, unseen, during a Champions League Twenty20 in Cape Town, South Africa, Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
Schalk van Zuydam/Associated Press

Chennai Super Kings (160/6) seemed to be cruising to an easy win over Mumbai Indians (157/6) on Saturday before a late rally led by Lasith Malinga turned the chase into a thrilling ride, setting up a final over in which the inevitable MS Dhoni needed to score 11.

Four balls later, the veteran captain had given his team a four-wicket win, in large part thanks to a six and a four in his last two shots, taking advantage of a struggling Kieron Pollard, who gave up 42 total runs and ended up with an economy rate of 16.80.

The win halts a run of consecutive victories from the defending champions and brings Chennai on level points with Kings XI Punjab at the top of the 2014 IPL standings.

Mumbai came into this match having win 10 straight at home, and 97 runs off the first three batsmen seemed to be the kind of start Indians were looking for as they took on one of the top teams in this year's tournament.

Mumbai Indians (157/6)
BATSMENRUNSBALLSSR4S6S
Lendl Simmonsc Francois du Plessis b Ravichandran Ashwin3838100.0032
CM Gautamc Brendon McCullum b Samuel Badree98112.5020
Ambati Rayuduc Ravindra Jadeja b Mohit Sharma5943137.2024
Rohit Sharmac Suresh Raina b Ravichandran Ashwin1919100.0010
Kieron Pollardc Suresh Raina b Ravichandran Ashwin010.0000
Corey AndersonNOT OUT186300.0002
Aditya Tarec Francois du Plessis b Ishwar Pandey95180.0020
EXTRAS (w 5)5
TOTAL (6 wickets; 20 overs)157
BOWLERORWECONDOTS
Samuel Badree43418.5010
Ishwar Pandey43418.5015
Ravindra Jadeja43308.258
Mohit Sharma42616.508
Ravichandran Ashwin43037.507
Ipl20.com

Lendl Simmons 38 in 38 was impressive, but Ambati Rayudu really seemed to set the tone with 59 runs on 43 balls. The batting machine would soon stop, however.

Rohit Sharma was held to 19 runs in 19 balls before Kieron Pollard was dismissed on the very first ball he faced, and while Corey Anderson was able to add 18 not out, a target of 157 seemed to be rather on the low end of the scale for Super Kings.

Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets while Mohit Sharma and Samuel Badree also put in good performances bowling, but as shared by Freddie Wilde, it was Chennai's fielding that deserved most of the credit, severely limiting Mumbai as they went looking for runs:

Dwayne Smith's 57 runs on 51 balls was about the best start Chennai could have hoped for when it was their turn to bat, but when Brendon McCullum was controversially dismissed, the machine started to sputter. Freddie Wilde thought the decision was "interesting":

This seemed to turn the tide in the match. Mumbai's bowling started taking over, limiting Francois du Plessis to 31 off 24 balls and containing Dhoni early. Ravindra Jadeja and Mithun Manhas would be dismissed with single-digit runs, as the chase seemed to gradually fall apart.

Chennai Super Kings (160/6)
BATSMENRUNSBALLSSR4S6S
Dwayne Smithc Lendl Simmons b Praveen Kumar5751111.7653
Brendon McCullumlbw Praveen Kumar1311118.1811
Suresh Rainast CM Gautam b Kieron Pollard1911172.7230
Francois du Plessisb Lasith Malinga3124129.1621
MS DhoniNOT OUT2212183.3311
Ravindra Jadejab Lasith Malinga6785.7110
Mithun Manhasrun out (Praveen Kumar)11100.0000
Ravichandran AshwinNOT OUT000.0000
EXTRAS (w 5, b 1, lb 5)11
TOTAL (6 wickets; 19.3 overs)160
BOWLERORWECONDOTS
Praveen Kumar43127.7511
Lasith Malinga41523.7510
Jasprit Bumrah43308.257
Harbhajan Singh42205.5010
Kieron Pollard2.342116.803
Corey Anderson111011.001
Ipl20.com

What had once looked like a routine win turned into a thrilling final over, with Chennai needing 11 runs and the inevitable Dhoni stepping up. Wilde had seen this film before:

And after three runs off the first two deliveries, that chant turned into this one:

Dhoni did what he always does, hitting a six deep midwicket before taking a short delivery and turning it into four, gifting his team the win.

Speaking after the match, the match winner told ESPN Cricinfo he thought the dew had an impact on the batting as he praised the pitch, saying "it was fantastic to bat on, but the ball stopped a bit early on and became easier for CSK with the dew."

He also praised his opener Smith for "batting more patiently, recognising his strong areas and capitalising on them" while also elaborating on Mumbai's decision to playing just one spinner, as he thought Indians "misread the wicket."

Aijaz Rahi/Associated Press

Mumbai's phenomenal home streak finally came to an end, but despite their horrible start to the tournament, they only trail Sunrisers Hyderabad by two points for the IPL's final play-off spot.

Both teams will face off in their next match, and with Mumbai's deep and explosive group of batsmen and Hyderabad's emphasis on solid bowling, a clash in styles could lead to one of the top matches we will see in IPL competition this season.

Those explosive batsmen could add to Mumbai's net run rate in a hurry, and Sunrisers' batsmen will have to be up to speed to match Mumbai's unit if they are to have any hope of keeping their spot in the top four.

Chennai will take on third-ranked Rajasthan Royals next, with the gap between both teams being four points. Chennai and Punjab have been the two best teams in competition by a long shot in 2014, and if Smith, McCullum and Dhoni can keep up their current pace, Royals shouldn't give them too many problems as they start gearing up for the play-offs.

All statistics used are courtesy of ESPN Cricinfo, unless stated otherwise.