Super Kings Halt Mumbai Indians' Winning Streak

Chennai, April 7 (IANS) A revamped Chennai Super Kings halted the winning streak of Mumbai Indians with a 24-run victory in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Tuesday.

It was their fifth win in 10 matches for the Super Kings while the Mumbai Indians crashed to their second defeat in nine outings after a shocking batting display that saw them collapse to 141 for nine chasing the home team's total of 165 for four.

Only skipper Sachin Tendulkar held his end up despite suffering from dehydration to top score for Mumbai with 45, but the rest of the batsmen collapsed due to questionable shot selection as also some wicket-to-wicket bowling by the Super Kings.

Tendulkar, in fact, retired after making 38 off 28 balls as his discomfort was very apparent. But then he had return to the field after the Mumbai Indians lost six wickets in as many overs.

He lasted just seven deliveries before holing out in the deep and with his departure, the last of Mumbai Indians' hope went up in smoke.

The Super Kings, who had made three changes from the team that had beaten Rajasthan Royals last week, bowled and fielded with intensity to emerge deserving winners.

For the home team, left-arm seamer Thilan Thushara (2 for 16) and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2 for 22), both coming in as a replacement for Tuesday's game, were outstanding, though the former had to be taken off midway through his third over after being no-balled twice.

However, the hosts had to work for their runs after deciding to bat first on winning the toss as they huffed and puffed their way to 165 for four in 20 overs against a highly efficient Mumbai Indians.

For Mumbai, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was the pick of the bowlers with a two-wicket haul, but it was seamer Kieron Pollard whose two wickets in one over applied brakes on the Super Kings.

None of the Super Kings batsmen, including Murali Vijay, a centurion in the previous game here, was able to raise a gallop by T20 standards with the Mumbai bowlers keeping it tight, backed by precise field placements.

Opener Matthew Hayden top scored with 35, but was never able to dominate while the rest got good starts only to depart at regular intervals.

The big moment for the Mumbai Indians came in the 14th over when Kieron Pollard dismissed Hayden and skipper M.S. Dhoni off consecutive deliveries to leave the Super Kings tottering on 119 for four.

In fact, the Super Kings went without a boundary for five overs in the mid-phase of the innings. However, towards close, Subramaniam Badrinath came up with some innovative shots to socre 31 not out and provided some respectability to the total.

On their part, the Mumbai Indians began well enough with openers Tendulkar and Shikhar Dhawan (16) putting on 46 in six overs before the Super Kings made deep inroads.

Left-arm seamer Thushara dismissed Dhawan with his very first delivery in the seventh over and then followed a dramatic collapse after Tendulkar left the field during the timeout.

The Mumbai middle-order batsmen virtually gifted their wickets away even as the Super Kings came up with some amazing catches besides some inspired fielding to apply more pressure on their opponents.

Towards the end, Harbhajan Singh gave some hopes to Mumbai with three sixes off Doug Bollinger, but it was all too little too late.


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