Defending champions Mumbai Indians became the first team to officially seal a playoffs berth after Chennai beat Kolkata by six wickets on Thursday in Abu Dhabi. MI now has eight wins from 12 games and are table-toppers currently, while all the other teams are yet to make the playoffs with a week to go for the group stage matches to complete. Also Read - MS Dhoni: Twitterverse Unites in Support of Former India Captain to Win ICC Spirit of Cricket Decade Award
Chennai – who became the first team to be out of the playoffs race – played the perfect party-spoilers as they beat Kolkata. Also Read - India vs Australia: Virat Kohli Breaks MS Dhoni's Record For Most Fours as India Captain
It was the perfect game for Chennai as young gun Ruturaj Gaikwad came to the part slamming consecutive fifties in the tournament. Gaikwad also bagged back to back player of the match awards – something that will do his confidence a world of good. This will give confidence to CSK for the build-up to the next season. At the presentation, he praised Dhoni while revealing how he stayed positive after contracting the deadly virus.
“It is feeling good. Pretty confident as well. I have backed myself. Both the innings when I got out early, I knew the situation was a little tough. Covid has made me tough. As our captain says, face every situation with a smile. I stayed positive and didn’t think much about the future,” said Gaikwad at the presentation ceremony.
MI started the season in a shaky manner losing to CSK in the opener, but the defending champs bounced back soon to winning ways and have been consistent throughout the season and deservingly becomes the first team to make the playoffs cut.
Mumbai Indians – who still have two games to go – can finish with 20 points. They play Delhi Capitals on Saturday before finishing their league-stage commitments against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday.