Indian Premier League 2014

Mumbai Indians and CSK ready for the Eliminator

Mumbai Indians went for the jugular in the last league match against Rajasthan Royals and delivered the most sensational result of the Pepsi-IPL-7 at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.

There were scenes of anguish expressed by Ambati Rayudu and joy displayed by Aditya Tare in two deliveries sent down by James Faulkner that eventually ended with the home-town boy flaying the Australian seamer for a match-winning six. Tare’s dream shot confirmed the 2013 champion team’s entry into the play-offs that at the conclusion of the league in the UAE looked highly remote.

The stunning turn of events two days ago set up the Eliminator play-off between MI and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Brabourne Stadium on Wednesday.

It’s unfortunate that the legion of CSK followers in Chennai have been robbed of their home matches (that have been played at Ranchi) and the play-off. CSK would have thrived at Chepauk with a full house, as would have any team at its home ground in such a high-profile competition.

After five consecutive losses in the UAE, MI came back into the tournament winning matches at the Wankhede. In fact a full house cheered MI when Corey Anderson and Rayudu fashioned the 31-ball 81-run partnership against the Royals. The other day MI’s Kieron Pollard went to the extent of saying that the crowd support at the home venue was equivalent to scoring 10 or 15 runs.

Punishing league

After the punishing league games the time has arrived for both teams to get ready for the crucial tussle that will throw the loser out of the competition. So far the M.S. Dhoni-led CSK has taken the rough with the smooth in 14 league matches, but in the final game, the team finished with an emphatic win against RCB, after three successive losses.

It would be this season’s first match at the Brabourne Stadium which was MI’s home ground in the third season.

CSK and Dhoni would not like to be reminded of the history of the IPL matches it has played against MI in the city.

In the previous 17 matches MI has won nine and CSK eight, but MI has a near-invincible home record, winning four matches and losing one at the Wankhede, winning one at the Brabourne and losing one match at the D. Y. Patil stadium in April 2010.

MI thrashed CSK by 60 runs last year at the Wankhede with opener Michael Hussey making 22, Dhoni 19 and Ravindra Jadeja 20, the rest made single scores. It was low-scoring match with MI making 139 and CSK 79.

MI will once again depend on the in-form opening pair in Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey to fire for the likes of Rohit Sharma, Rayudu, Pollard and Anderson to capitalise on. Similarly CSK would hope for its run-getters — Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Dhoni and Faf du Plessis — to repel a depleted Mumbai Indians attack without Lasith Malinga, Zaheer Khan and Praveen Kumar.

Good record

It is unpredictable how the Brabourne pitch would behave, but MI will take the field with six wins here and one loss against RCB by seven wickets. In 2010 CSK made 180 for two and MI chased the score successfully for the loss of five wickets.

Meanwhile, Dhoni and Dwayne Smith were absent at the practice session at the Brabourne Stadium.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:22:55 AM |

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