IPL 2012: Dhoni takes Chennai one step closer to the final
Bangalore: From the first ball MS Dhoni faced after Chennai Super Kings were called in to bat by Harbhajan Singh, he looked in ominous touch. He came into bat after Michael Hussey and S Badrinath had guided the team out of a mini-crisis--they had lost two wickets early in the innings.
From there on he went on to score 51 runs off just 20 deliveries slaying Mumbai bowlers all over the park, even dishing out his ‘helicopter shot’ to guide Chennai Super Kings to a total of 187/5. The total proved more than enough for the defending champions as Mumbai fell short of the total by 38 runs. The win took CSK to the second qualifier.
Earlier, Dhawal Kulkarni took two wickets in two deliveries to put Mumbai ahead in the eliminator match in front of a capacity crowd at Bangalore. Dhawal, who was playing only his second game of IPL 5, was called in to bowl the second over of the match by his skipper. His first delivery found the edge of Murali Vijay that was caught by keeper Dinesh Karthik. The next produced another edge but landed on the stumps as Suresh Raina was out for a golden duck.
From there on, S Badrinath and Michael Hussey added 94 runs in 12 overs to guide them out of trouble and provided their captain MS Dhoni a perfect platform to launch assault on the opposition bowlers. Both Hussey (49) and Badri (47) fell short of their fifty.
Ravindra Jadeja was caught after scoring just one but was replaced by Dwayne Bravo in the middle, who then along with Dhoni added 73 in just 4.5 overs.
Kulkarni, who bowled an excellent first over, swinging the ball was later taken to task first by Dhoni and then by Bravo. He ended up with three wickets while leaking 46 runs in his quota of fours over.
None of the Mumbai bowlers could make an impact, even Malinga, known for his deadly accuracy, looked off colour.
Mumbai Indians, unlike CSK, had a positive start to their innings and quickly moved to 47 runs in 4.5 overs before Sachin Tendulkar was run out. Barring Dwayne Smith, who scored 38 runs, none of Mumbai’s batsmen made any significant contribution. The team failed to produce any partnership and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Their big guns, Rohit (14), Sachin (11), Kerion (16) failed when it mattered. They finished their innings at 149/9.
For Chennai, Albie Morkel and Dwayne Bravo took two wickets apiece.
Chennai will now lock horns with Delhi Daredevils in the second qualifier on Friday, the winner of which will face KKR in the finals of IPL 5.