| Lasith Malinga, on Saturday |
Johannesburg: Lasith Malinga’s five-wicket haul and Dinesh Karthik’s whirlwind 74 went in vain as Chennai Super Kings eked out a narrow six-run win over Mumbai Indians in an inconsequential Group B match of the Champions League Twenty20 here on Saturday.
Even before the first ball was bowled, the match was rendered a dead-rubber after Lions notched up a five-wicket victory over Yorkshire earlier on Saturday to become the second team from Group B to reach the semi-finals, thus knocking out both Chennai and Mumbai Indians.
However, both the IPL teams ensured that the spectators at the New Wanderers stadium don’t go back disappointed as they enthralled them with an edge-of-the-seat thriller which went down to the wires.
Sent in to bat, CSK openers Du Plessis (52) and Murali Vijay (39) initially lifted the spirit of the spectators with an entertaining 86-run stand in just 49 balls, studded with 10 fours and three sixes.
However, Malinga spoilt their party as he notched up a five-wicket haul in his four overs. The Sri Lankan pacer dismissed Du Plessis, Suresh Raina (8), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (35), Albie Morkel (0) and Wriddiman Saha (5) to help Mumbai restrict Chennai to 173-8.
Karthik then led the Mumbai run chase with a scintillating 45-ball 74, which was studded with four fours and six sixes, and almost took them to the brink of victory. Pollard also blasted a 17-ball 31 with the help of one four and three sixes but MI still fell short by six runs in the end.
The credit goes to Man of the match, Ben Hilfenhaus (2/14) who led the bowling attack brilliantly. He was supported well by Albie Morkel (2/28) and Ravindra Jadeja (2/47) and part-timer Faf du Plessis (1/3).
Chasing 173, Mumbai Indians failed to get a good start and were reduced to 21 for two in 4.4 overs.
Opener Sachin Tendulkar’s poor run continued and he was the first to be dismissed by Ben Hilfenhaus in the fourth over. In the next over, Morkel dismissed the other opener Smith (13) as MI slumped to 21 for two.
Rohit Sharma (32) and Karthik then tried to resurrect the innings with the former picking up three sixes but with the Chennai bowlers bowling in tendem, the run-rate kept creeping up all the time.
Karthik too then got into the act, hitting Jadeja for a six over midwicket and successive fours at the same area to notch up 19 runs off the over. MI were 77 for two in 11 overs at that stage.
Morkel was brought back into the attack and the South African picked up Rohit in his first delivery to reduce MI to 85 for three in 12.1 overs.
Ambati Rayudu then handed over his wicket to Du Plessis. Keiron Pollard and Karthik then brought up the 100 in 15 overs, still needing 74 runs from 30 balls. Karthik picked up a four and a six off Ashwin to reach his fifty.