he much awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 finally got underway with a marquee clash marking the season commencement. After a glitzy and glamorous opening ceremony, some exciting brand of cricket was on display between the two iconic sides – Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings. The rivalry between the two sides has been a historic one in the tournament.
They have always been evenly matched sides on the field and as the things stand at the half way stage this time around in the season opener, both sides have an equal chance of winning the game. The bowling-heavy Chennai Super Kings have managed to restrict the Mumbai Indians to 165/4 in their stipulated 20 overs. Considering the fact that it will be tough bowling second, the visitors would fancy their chances in the run chase.
Earlier in the game, the returning side Chennai Super Kings won the toss and opted to field first. MS Dhoni was clear about his plans of chasing on the Wankhede track. He made a few surprising picks though. There was no place for Karn Sharma and Murali Vijay in the playing eleven. Mark Wood made his IPL debut and Imran Tahir made his first appearance for the Super Kings.
In any case, the move to bowl first worked very well for them with the new ball bowlers of CSK – Deepak Chahar and Shane Watson getting some serious purchase. They dismissed the Mumbai Indians openers cheaply to have the hosts reeling at 20/2 in 3.5 overs. Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav then joined hands to rebuild the innings. They took their time to settle in and batted with a run rate of less than 7 until the half way stage in the innings.
They added 78 runs for the third wicket before Shane Watson dismissed Yadav on 43 (29) in the 13th over. Ishan Kishan also played well for his 29-ball 40 before becoming Tahir’s victim in the game. It was down to the Pandya brothers to provide the final flourish to the team in the innings. Hardik found it tough to get his unbeaten 22 (20) but Krunal was magnificent with his quick unbeaten 41 off just 22 deliveries with 5 fours and 2 sixes to his name.
Their efforts helped MI get 165/4 in 20 overs. A bad news broke out for them though on the last ball of the innings with Hardik falling awkwardly on his ankle.