Chennai Super Kings (CSK) stand-in skipper Suresh Raina blamed the team’s batting for the 46-run loss which they faced against Mumbai Indians at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday night. It was the Mumbai bowlers, who came all guns blazing on a slow wicket to wrap up the home side, who were chasing a modest 156-run target, on a paltry 109 runs. Lasith Malinga was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors with figures of 4/37, while Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya bagged a couple of wickets each.
Chasing the target, Chennai got off to a worst possible start as Malinga dismissed opener Shane Watson (8) before Hardik struck to send back Suresh Raina (2), reducing the yellow brigade to 22/2 in 3.1 overs. Murali Vijay (38 off 35) tried his best to repair the major damages but lacked support from the other end as incoming batsman Ambati Rayudu also departed without opening his account. Krunal accounted for the wicket of the Chennai stumper.
Chennai’s middle-order also fell like a pack of cards as they lost Kedar Jadhav (6) and Dhruv Shorey (5) cheaply. Things turned ugly for the hosts when Bumrah picked Vijay in the 12th over, leaving Chennai reeling at 66/6. Suryakumar Yadav took a stunning catch of Vijay at backward point off a Bumrah delivery. Dwayne Bravo (20 off 17) and Mitchell Santner (22 off 20) were involved in a short 33-run partnership for the seventh wicket and kept Chennai’s slim hope of winning alive. However, Malinga broke the partnership as the Sri Lankan pacer’s slower delivery took a leading edge off Bravo’s bat and the pacer moved a couple of steps backward to take an easy catch.
The Mumbai bowlers then rattled the lower middle-order with ease as Deepak Chahar (0), Harbhajan Singh (1) also failed to bring any relief. Malinga put the final nail in the coffin after picking Santner in the 18th over to set up a comfortable victory for Mumbai. “We didn’t bat well. We kept losing wickets every 2-3 overs, so our batsmen need to take more responsibility. Our bowling has always been good this season. We thought 155 was chaseable. But we lost too many wickets in the powerplay and middle overs,” said Raina after the game.
“We didn’t rotate the strike well either. It is important to go out there and see a few balls out, and then decide which bowler you want to go after. We need to sit as a batting unit and see where we’re doing wrong. We have power hitters, we have experienced batsmen so we just need to relax as a batting unit,” he added.
Despite the loss, CSK is sitting at the top of the table with 16 points from 12 games. They will next host Delhi Capitals on May 1.