Mumbai Indians beat Chennai by three wickets

Malinga contributes with bat and ball to ensure MI beat defending champions by three wickets in their CLT20 opener

Riding on Lasith Malinga's whirlwind 37 off 18 balls, Mumbai Indians upset defending champions Chennai Super Kings by three wickets in the Champions League T20 Group A match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday. Malinga had three hits to the fences while he cleared the rope thrice to help Mumbai Indians start the group league with a victory.

Chennai Super Kings' batsman Murali Vijay (inset) is clean
bowled by Mumbai Indians' Lasith Malinga (left) during their
Champions League T20 match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium
in Chennai on Saturday. Mumbai Indians won by three wickets.

Aiden Blizzard (28) and Kieron Pollard (22) were the other notable scorers. Earlier, Mike Hussey smashed a blistering half-century to help holders Chennai Super Kings register a competitive 158 for four. Hussey carried on with his excellent form and his 81 came off just 57 balls laced with eight boundaries and three towering sixes to set the tone for CSK on a slow MA Chidambaram track.

Hussey, however, didn't get much support from the other end as Suresh Raina (18 off 17), Subramaniam Badrinath (16) were dismissed without going on to pose a danger. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was unbeaten on 22 off 13.

Young seamer Abu Nechim Ahmed was the pick of the Mumbai Indians bowlers returning figures of two for 35. Slinger Malinga and Kieron Pollard bagged one wicket each. Stand-in Mumbai Indians captain Harbhajan Singh, who staged a return to the field after a injury lay-off, was nowhere near his best giving away 32 runs in his four wicketless overs.

The defending champions started badly after opting to bat as opener Murali Vijay fell cheaply (8), when a perfect Malinga yorker went through the CSK opener's defence. But Hussey stemmed the rot in Raina's company as the duo shared a 35-run second wicket stand that came off 30 balls. Raina was stumped by Davy Jacobs off Pollard. Badrinath (16 off 21) then tried his bit, but had to return after Rajagopal Sathish took a catch off Abu Nechim in the 16th over.

Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 158-4 in 20 overs (Mike Hussey 81, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 22 not out; Abu Nechim Ahmed 2/35). Mumbai Indians 159-7 in 19.9 overs (37 not out, Aiden Blizzard 28, Kieron Pollard 22; Suresh Raina 2/6).

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