MI vs CSK, IPL 2024: Rohit’s Heroic Century In Vain As Chennai Beat Mumbai By 20 Runs

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MI vs CSK, IPL 2024: In one of the most celebrated matches in the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) emerged victorious by 20 runs against the Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. A dominant batting performance by the visitors saw them post a total of 206 after MI won the toss and chose to bowl first. Rohit Sharma rallied the MI charge with a spirited century, but the CSK bowlers, led by the impressive Matheesha Pathirana (4/28), held their nerve and bowled in great channels to pile the pressure at the other end and earn a victory.

There was a change to CSK’s opening combination as Ajinkya Rahane walked out to bat with Rachin Ravindra instead of Ruturaj Gaikwad. Rahane, though, was dismissed early, in the second over, in an attempt to hit one over mid-on. That brought Gaikwad to the crease, and he lit up Wankhede with some exciting batting.

In the third over, Ruturaj hit Mohammad Nabi down the ground for a six. During his innings of 69 off 40 balls, he cleared the boundary five times. And through that aggressive approach, he maintained that touch of class he is known for. There were well-timed drives that went for four and a couple of mind-boggling cuts through the off-side that went all the way.

Rachin Ravindra seemed to be getting back into good touch and looked set when he hit leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal over long-on for six. However, he was dismissed the next ball as he got an under-edge into the wicketkeeper’s gloves.

That brought Shivam Dube to the crease – a man who has built quite a reputation as a six-hitter during the last two seasons of the TATA IPL. Along with Gaikwad, he constructed a 90-run partnership in only 45 balls.

When compared to Dube’s typical knocks, this one was different, as there were only two sixes during his 38-ball 66 not out. His innings was laced with 14 boundaries – combining power and intelligent placement. Such was the acceleration by the CSK batters that from the beginning of the 10th over until the end of the 15th, CSK added 87 runs. That acceleration also witnessed a 22-run over, bowled by Romario Shepherd – which featured two sixes from Dube over the leg-side. With that charge, CSK looked set to go over 200.

MI managed to script a small recovery when their captain Hardik Pandya dismissed Gaikwad off a slower-ball in the 16th over. In that period, until the end of the 19th, CSK managed to score only 31 runs, and the MI fans would have felt CSK could be restricted to under 200. There was last over drama in store as a crowd favourite was to walk out and dazzle the crowd.

When Pandya dismissed Daryl Mitchell, the Wankhede crowd roared – not because their home team had taken a wicket – but because MS Dhoni walked out for the last over. With all the buzz around him, he kept his usual calm. The first ball he faced was smashed over long-off for six. The second one was sent over long-on and the third ball he faced went over fine-leg for another six. With three consecutive sixes, the crowd had come alive. CSK went past 200 and you could have mistaken Wankhede for the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

MI’s chase got off to a great start courtesy Rohit and Ishan Kishan. In 43 balls, they added 70 and seemed to put MI on course to get the total. Rohit got going with a six over mid-wicket off Tushar Deshpande in the third over. One of the best shots he played in the powerplay was when he used his feet to Mustafizur Rahman and lofted it over mid-off for four. He followed that up with a huge six over the leg-side to signal his intentions.

Kishan too maintained the tempo with a 15-ball 23 that featured a massive six over fine-leg off Shardul Thakur. However, it was Rohit who dominated in the initial stages. MI raced to 70 in seven overs and were in touch with the rate. Gaikwad then decided to introduce Matheesha Pathirana, the Impact Player.

The first ball bowled by Pathirana produced a wicket as Kishan hit one straight to mid-wicket. A couple of deliveries later, CSK got the big wicket of Suryakumar Yadav – MI’s Impact Player. Suryakumar guided a short delivery from Pathirana towards third-man. Mustafizur did well to catch it, and although he overbalanced and went over the boundary, he managed to fling the ball in the air and return to complete the dismissal. CSK had delivered two big blows.

Tilak Varma and Rohit constructed a 38-ball 60-run stand that kept MI in the hunt. During that partnership, Rohit got to his half-century and looked determined to go all the way. Tilak also essayed some great shots and picked up five fours during his innings of 31. In the 14th over, CSK brought back Pathirana again as the partnership was building. Tilak holed out to mid-off, where Thakur ran back to complete the catch.

That was the turning point in favour of CSK. That over by Pathirana went for only six. The next two overs, bowled by Thakur and Deshpande, went for only five runs collectively. The asking rate kept soaring. For a large period, building up to the slog overs, Rohit did not get a lot of the strike, and the CSK bowlers bowled to their fields and kept the boundaries at bay. Thereafter, MI were always behind and CSK sealed the deal thanks to those middle overs.

Towards the end, Rohit got to his century – his second in the TATA IPL – to the delight of the Mumbai crowd. However, that was the only positive for MI as the game slipped out of their grasp.

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