IPL Playoffs Start Today
After 56 league stage matches, the 2019 IPL kick-offs it’s business end with the big Qualifier tonight between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.
The match is being played in Chennai and after finishing as the league’s number 1 and 2 ranked teams, both CSK and MI get two shots at making the final. The winner of today’s match goes through straight to Sunday but the losing them then plays the winner of tomorrow’s ‘Qualifier 2’ on Friday.
Mumbai are coming into the game on the heels of a win against Kolkata Knight Riders at home on Sunday night while Chennai were handed a reality check in their last league fixture which they lost to Kings XI Punjab.
Toss at 7PM
The IPL’s Governing Council’s decided to move the timing of all playoff matches to 7:30pm instead of the 8pm start we’ve had for the evening fixtures this season.
Chennai technically was supposed to host the final but since the franchise could not get the local authorities to open up the stands that have been closed all season, Hyderabad will stage the final.
Toss: Dhoni Calls Right
MS Dhoni has won the toss and elected to bat first. Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma also admits he would’ve done the same.
Both teams have made one change each. Murali Vijay comes in place of the injured Kedar Jadhav for Chennai. Mitchell McClenaghan makes way for Jayant Yadav for Mumbai.
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Murali Vijay, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (Captain/wicket-keeper), Ambati Rayudu, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir
Mumbai Indians: Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), Rohit Sharma (Captain), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga
Once again playing at home this season, Chennai will draw from their near perfect record at the Chepauk where they have won six out of their seven home matches this year.
Mumbai, however, hold the edge in the head-to-head record this year, having beaten Chennai both times the two teams faced off.
1/0 After 1 Over
Rohit Sharma hands the ball to Lasith Malinga for the first over of the Chennai innings as Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson walk out to bat. Both test out the waters as the Lankan concedes just one run.
Krunal Bowls Second Over
Spin is in and it’s just the second over. Faf du Plessis hits the second delivery for a four but Pandya keeps it tight.
6/0 after 2 overs
Faf Falls to Chahar
Mumbai have the start they (or any team!) would've wanted. South African skipper Faf du Plessis delivers an easy catch to substitute Anmolpreet Singh and CSK are one down.
CSK: 6/1 after 2.1 overs
Suresh Raina Caught on 5
This isn't looking good at all for Chennai. After two free-hits, Suresh Raina whacks yet another Jayant Yadav delivery high but this time it’s just got the height and is caught by the bowler himself.
Raina out on 5.
CSK: 12/2 in 3.3 overs
CSK 23/2 After 5 Overs
Shane Watson got off the mark in the only the fourth over with a single but he’s starting to find his rhythm. Jasprit Bumrah is hit for two boundaries in the fifth as he and Murali Vijay try to steady the innings.
CSK: 23/2 in 5 overs
CSK Lose 3rd Wicket - Watson Out
Jayant Yadav, playing in place of Mitchell McClenaghan, finds himself in the thick of things once again.
Shane Watson hits a Krunal Pandya delivery high but Yadav is at the right spot and taken the catch running backwards to his right.
CSK: 32/3 after 6 overs
CSK: 46/3 in 9
Seems like just the situation for Murali Vijay to be playing in. Krunal Pandya is bowling but Rayudu and Vijay look more focussed on seeing off a few steady overs as they get just 2 runs off the 9th over.
CSK: 46/3 in 9 overs
Murali Vijay survived a run out in the previous over but he hasn’t made the most of that lifeline.
Chahar’s first delivery turns a lot, goes past Vijay’s bat and into Quinton de Kock’s gloves. The keeper picks off the bails and that’s Chennai’s fourth wicket.
MS Dhoni will not come out to bat.
CSK: 65/4 in 12.1 overs
Dhoni Switches Gears
With the skipper now at the crease, CSK’s slow innings has switched gears. There’s a sprinkling of fours and sixes between singles as Rayudu and Dhoni add 23 runs in overs 14 and 15.
CSK: 91/4 in 15 overs
CSK 107/4 in 18
The spinners are done with and now that Mumbai’s pacers are taking the ball, Dhoni and Rayudu should be scoring at a quicker pace but the run rate remains a low 5.94.
Bumrah bowls the 18th over and concedes just 8.
CSK: 107/4 in 18.
Helicopter Makes an Entry
19th over: Back-to-back deliveries of Malinga’s are sent right into the stands by MS Dhoni.
15 runs off the 19th over.
CSK: 122/4 in 19 overs.
Dhoni Out... Then Not
Bumrah is bowling the final over and get gets MS Dhoni out off the first delivery. Ishan Kishan with the catch.
BUT replays show it was a no ball and MS Dhoni stays at the crease.
CSK Post 131/4
Just 9 runs conceded by Bumrah in the final over as Chennai Super Kings post 131/4.
Ambati Rayudu top-scores with 42 and MS Dhoni’s 28-ball 37 at the end helps Chennai get to a competitive score.
For Mumbai, Rahul Chahar finished with the best figures of 2/14 in 4 overs
Rohit Out Second Ball
Deepak Chahar has been given the ball and Rohit Sharma him for a boundary on the first ball.
The second though is a different story. Misses Rohit’s bat and hits him on his right pad and the umpire lifts his finger.
Rohit asks for an appeal as the delivery could have been a bit too high but replays show it would just about clip the bails and the umpire’s decision stays.
Mumbai Indians 4/1 in 0.2
MI Lose de Kock
Second ball of the 4th over and Quinton de Kock powers one towards the boundary line but his SA skipper Faf du Plessis is at the right spot to pocket the catch.
Harbhajan Singh with the wicket.
MI: 21/2 after 3.2 overs
Strong Second-Wicket Stand
Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav are putting together quite a partnership here. Not really going for the big shots but they’ve managed to not concede a wicket. 27 runs so far.
MI: 48/2 in 7 overs
69/2 After 10 overs
Suryakumar and Ishan are soldiering on towards the target. 48 runs put together by the two of them for the second wicket so far.
69/2 in 10 overs and Mumbai now need another 63 runs from the remaining 60 balls.
Coach Fleming: We Need Wickets
Sanjay Manjrekar catches up with CSK coach Stephen Fleming on the sidelines and asks him which player would be the team’s game-changer?
Suryakumar Completes 50
A half-century for Mumbai’s mainstay so far. Yadav hits the 37th delivery he faces for a boundary and that’s his 50.
Tahir Packs off 2 in 2
Quite an action-packed 14th over in Chennai. After Yadav’s 50, he watches on as two of his partners are packed off within two balls, by Imran Tahir.
First its Ishan Kishan who loses his bails while batting on 28 and then Krunal Pandya is out on a duck after Tahir catches a ball off his own delivery.
MI: 101/4 in 14 overs. Need 31 off 36 balls
6 Runs off 12 Balls
Hardik Pandya and Yadav are scoring at a quick pace. Assisted by a few poor fielding efforts, Mumbai are on the cusp of booking a spot in Sunday’s final.
They need 6 runs with 2 overs in hand.
Mumbai Win by 6 Wickets
A single off the first delivery and then it’s Yadav who closes out the win. A boundary in the second ball, and a single to follow as Mumbai win by 6 wickets.
Rohit Sharma’s team now enter their fifth IPL final
Dhoni: Batting Needs to Get Better
“It didn’t go our way, specially the batting. Specially when you are playing in home conditions, you have to assess the wicket very quickly. That’s the bonus of playing at home, you know how the wicket has played, what is a good score. Those are the things I think we did not do well in the game,” says the losing skipper.