With the Sidney Sixers having already made it to the semis and the Highveld Lions winning their match against the Yorkshire earlier in the day, the group was all but over. Their win dashed the hopes of both the IPL franchises in their group: the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. What was expected to be a dead rubber between the two IPL sides culminated in a game one doesn’t normally associate with a dead rubber. CSK emerged on top in what was a last over, nail biting finish.
Mumbai won the toss and put Chennai in to bat.Chennai got off to a rollicking start before Murali Vijay departed after a fine 25 ball 39 to Ojha. Soon after, having added just 15 runs on the board, Faf du Plessis, who was the star batsman of the Chennai batting and Raina, one of the most consistent of the Chennai batsmen, fell in the same Malinga over in two consecutive balls.
Dhoni then took some responsibility, scoring a quick fire 35 before becoming Malinga’s third scalp. Ashwin chipped in with some useful runs at the death, hitting a 6 off the last ball, which proved to be pivotal in the way the game shaped up.
Malinga was the pick of the Mumbai Indian bowlers, restricting the Super Kings to a total of 173.
Chasing 174 to win, Mumbai got off to the worst possible start, losing both Sachin and Smith in quick succession, and some much needed momentum to boot. It is imperative to start well when you chase totals like a 174, but Mumbai failed in that respect. It was Dinesh Karthik’s intimidating innings and a cameo by danger man Pollard, which brought Mumbai right back into the game and injected life into a game which was played solely for glory.
Mumbai needed a little over 70 in the final five overs. Karthik and Pollard came in their own and smashed the Chennai bowlers all over the park, taking a special liking to off-spinner Ashwin, scoring 24 runs in his over.
They then needed 27 runs off the final two. Hilfenhaus came on to bowl and was hit out of the park by Karthik, who eventually fell to a slower ball. Bhajji then played three dot balls to leave Mumbai with an uphill task of scoring 19 off the final over. Dhoni took his time in deciding the bowler of the ultimate over before choosing Jadeja to do the honours. Pollard hit the first ball for 6, but even he fell. Harbhajan brought some interest into the game with a couple of meaty blows, but it was too little too late for the Mumbai Indians.
Karthik scored a scintillating 75 off 45 balls and was given good support by the West Indian Pollard (31 off 17 balls) to leave Mumbai with a strong chance. But, unfortunately for the Mumbai Indians, they failed to keep their nerve and cross the finishing line.
Mumbai took a liking to Ashwin, hitting him to all parts of the ground, plundering 24 runs in his 3rd over. Hilfenhaus was the pick of the bowlers with an outstanding spell up front, followed by an excellent under-pressure over to take Chennai over the line, which helped a long way in winning the match.
Man of the Match : Ben Hilfenhaus