IPL 8: Smith, McCullum inspire CSK to win; MI lose 4th consecutive game

Openers Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum shared a breathtaking 109-run stand off 44 balls as Chennai Super Kings outplayed Mumbai Indians by six wickets for their third straight win in IPL 8

Mumbai Indians posted their highest total of the IPL 8 on Friday, but the result still remained unchanged as they suffered their fourth successive loss of the tournament, losing to Chennai Super Kings by six wickets at the Wankhede Stadium.

The hosts were powered by entertaining knocks from Kieron Pollard (64 off 30) and skipper Rohit Sharma (50 off 31 balls) as they posted a competitive 183-7 in 20 overs. CSK openers, however, made a mockery of the target as they romped home to their third successive win with 20 balls to spare.

Chennai Super Kings' Brendon McCullumChennai Super Kings' Brendon Mccullum in action against Mumbai Indians during their IPL tie at Wankhede cricket Stadium on Friday. Pic/SURESH K.K.

From the paddle sweep to the scoop shot, Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith dazzled as Chennai got off to a dream start.

CSK virtually sealed the match between the fourth and seventh over, mauling Mumbai bowlers like never before.

MI’s premier pacer Lasith Malinga was smashed for 21 runs in his second over that included two fours from McCullum and a couple from Smith.

The next over was even better for CSK as Smith hit two fours and as many sixes to take 22 runs off Jagadeesha Suchith.

Mumbai skipper was quick to introduce veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh, but even he couldn’t contain CSK openers. Smith and McCullum smashed 18 runs off the sixth over to record the second highest score (90-0) in the IPL powerplay.

Pawan Suyal leaked 17 runs off the seventh over as Mumbai Indians struggled to halt the Chennai juggernaut.  

Harbhajan came back strongly in his next over to dismiss McCullum (20-ball 46) and Smith (30-ball 62) in the same over, but by then the match had already slipped out of Mumbai Indians’ hands with the equation well below the asking rate.

Earlier, Mumbai Indians once again started poorly and were reduced to 3-12 inside four overs. In a slam-bang format when your first boundary comes on the 15th ball and the first six off the 49th delivery, it shows that there is something seriously wrong with the top-order.

However, once MI got into the groove, there was no looking back. Harbhajan, promoted to bat at No 5, hit a quickfire 21-ball 24 before Ravindra Jadeja took a running catch off Mohit Sharma to dismiss him.

Pollard and Rohit ensured there was no dearth of entertainment for the Mumbai crowd. While the big-hitting West Indian hit some lusty blows into the stands, Rohit delighted everyone with some proper cricketing shots along the ground.

Pollard went berserk against Jadeja as he plundered 26 runs off the 14th over, which included three sixes and a four, to hand the left-arm spinner his worst T20 figures – 4-0-49-0.

Just when the partnership looked threatening, Nehra managed to remove Rohit on the very next ball after he reached his second half-century of IPL-8.

Pollard, however, continued in same vein as he and Ambati Rayudu (16-ball 29) helped the hosts post a competitive score, which eventually was not enough.

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