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08-Apr-2018 05:00:00 GMT
MI v CSK, 1st match, Mumbai

Bravo blast as CSK return with thriller win

Chennai Super Kings 169 for 9 (Bravo 68, Jadhav 24*, Markande 3-23, Hardik 3-24) beat Mumbai Indians 165 for 4 (Suryakumar 43, Krunal 41*, Watson 2-29) by one wicket

Mumbai: Dwayne Bravo scored a superb 68 off 30 balls to take Chennai Super Kings to an unlikely win over defending Champions Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League opener.

In a dramatic finish, Bravo was out at the score of 159, CSK’s ninth wicket to fall, leaving them needing seven off the last over.

Kedar Jadhav, who had retired hurt with a hamstring injury, came out to bat and finished the game with a six and a four off the fourth and fifth balls.

In batting, 27-year-old Yadav and 19-year-old Kishan lifted Mumbai from a poor start of 20 for two in 3.5 overs with a thrilling partnership of 78 which helped them reach a total of 165 for four. But, the story of the night was 20-year-old leg-spinner Markande.

Making his IPL debut in front of a packed Wankhede Stadium, the boy from Bhatinda, Punjab, showed no signs of nerves as he struck with his third ball and finished with three wickets.

Bowling with control and guile, Markande’s claimed the wickets of IPL stalwarts Ambati Rayudu and Mahendra Singh Dhoni to have the home crowd applauding in appreciation

The early inroads were made by Hardik Pandya, who once again proved why he is considered the player with an X-factor. Pandya hurt his leg on the final ball of the Mumbai Indian innings during a collision with Chennai Super Kings bowler Dwayne Bravo.

When the MI new ball bowlers failed to make an impression on the CSK openers, Pandya decided to take things in his own hands. Clearly in pain in his run-up, he provided Mumbai with two big breakthroughs with wickets of Shane Watson and Suresh Raina, to derail the chase.

Earlier, his elder brother, Krunal smashed an unbeaten 42 off 22 balls to give the hosts’ innings the impetus needed in the slog overs.

Making their return to the Indian Premier League after a two-year hiatus, the focus was more on Chennai Super Kings as they renewed their famed rivalry with Mumbai Indians.

They were also being analysed for having gone for combination where most of their key players are on the wrong side of 30.

Having gone for experience, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s current side has been termed as Dad’s army.

Their veteran bowling attack did come under pressure from the Mumbai Indian batsmen, who were looking to exploit the lack of pace of the likes of Dwayne Bravo and Shane Watson. The old war-horses did hold their own.

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