IPL 2024: Gaikwad, Dube fifties, Dhoni cameo help Chennai Super Kings reach 206/4 vs MI

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shivam Dube blasted quick-fire half-centuries while MS Dhoni blazed to a four-ball unbeaten 20 as Chennai Super Kings

Mumbai, April 14 (IANS) Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shivam Dube blasted quick-fire half-centuries while MS Dhoni blazed to a four-ball unbeaten 20 as Chennai Super Kings posted 206/4 in 20 overs against Mumbai Indians in Match 29 of Indian Premier League (ILP) 2024 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.

Gaikwad and Dube, who come from the same state but play for different associations — Maharashtra and Mumbai respectively, at the domestic level, added 90 runs for the third wicket to help CSK recover from 60/2 in the 8th over after being asked to bat first.

Gaikwad hammered a 40-ball 69 coming in at No.3 while Dube blasted 66 not out off 36 balls. Dhoni then showed why he is still considered one of the best finishers in the game as he hammered Hardik Pandya for three sixes off successive deliveries in the final over to take CSK past 200 runs.

Earlier, CSK sprung a surprise by sending Ajinkya Rahane instead of skipper Gaikwad to open the innings with Rachin Ravindra. But the move did not yield the desired result with Rahane getting out for five at his home ground.

Though CSK head coach Stephen Fleming had said in the pre-match press conference that Gaikwad’s slow batting at the top was not an issue for them as he was anchoring the innings, the move to send Rahane ahead of him belies that confidence.

He swept Mohd Nabi over short fine leg for a boundary in the second over but fell to Gerald Coetzee in the next, mistiming a pull shot straight to Hardik Pandya at mid-on.

The stands appeared more yellow than the traditional blue, despite many fans, who were wearing yellow jerseys of CSK lining up to take free jerseys given by the home team, and families walking into the stadium with one member wearing yellow of the visiting team while another wearing the blue of the hosts.

In the middle too, CSK started prospering with Gaikwad hammering Coetzee for a massive six over long-on in the third over and following that up with four and six off successive balls in his next over, making room for a cut but managing only a thick inside edge past short fine-leg and backing away again on the next ball to uppercut a short one over third man for six.

CSK could still manage only 48/1 in the Power-play. However, with both Gaikwad and Ravindra helping themselves to a four each off Akash Madhwal and the New Zealand opener carting Shreyas Gopal for a six with a clean swing over long-on, they completed fifty of their partnership for the second wicket off 36 balls.

Gopal had his revenge on the next delivery as he induced a faint edge as Ravindra attempted to cut and missed. Keeper Ishan Kishan goes up in appeal and Mumbai Indians review it after it is turned down. Ultra edge shows a small spike as the ball passes the bat and Mumbai get their man. Ravindra got out for 21 off 16, hitting two fours and a six and CSK were down to 60/2 in the eighth over.

While Jasprit Bumrah kept things tight at one end by conceding only 10 runs in his first two overs, CSK continued to prosper from the other with Shivam Dube helping himself to three boundaries, two of them off successive deliveries, off Hardik Pandya’s first over, which cost Mumbai Indians 15 runs.

Gaikwad, who was dropped by Rohit Sharma off Madhwal when on 40, went on to smash a six each off Madhwal and Coetzee in successive overs to complete his half-century off 33 balls, hitting three fours and as many sixes. He and Dube also raised fifty runs in their partnership for the third wicket off 30 balls.

Dube, who started with three fours off Pandya, slapped and pulled Romario Shepherd for two boundaries and then in the 14th over, Shepherd for back-to-back sixes, two superb efforts that were followed by a boundary off a short ball past the deep midwicket which left the fans delirious in the stands. Gaikwad then scythed a low full toss off his wrists for another boundary as the over cost Mumbai Indians 22 runs. Dube bought fifty off 28 balls.

Gaikwad struck Madhwal for a six and four off successive balls, advancing down the wicket to blast a six off Madhwal despite the bowler going wide. With runs flowing easily, skipper Hardik Pandya brought himself into the attack and was rewarded for his courageous decision when he got his counterpart with an off-cutter, inducing a mishit that went straight to Nabi at long-on. Gaikwad’s superb innings produced 69 runs off 40 balls and was studded with five boundaries and as many sixes. He and Dube added 90 runs for the third wicket in quick time.

The crowd that was till then going “Rohit, Rohit”, started chanting the name of the Mumbai Indians skippers as Pandya got a wicket for two runs in that over.

Daryl Mitchell was out for 17 off 14 but Mahendra Singh Dhoni hammered Pandya for a hat-trick of sixes in the final over that cost 26 runs as CSK posted a par score of 206/4 in 20 overs. Shivam Dube remained unbeaten on 66 off 36 balls while Dhoni finished on 20 not out off four deliveries as CSK set Mumbai Indians a target of 207.

Though Bumrah was at his usual frugal self giving 27 runs in his four overs, Pandya ended with 2-43 courtesy of Dhoni’s three sixes.

Brief scores:

Chennai Super Kings 206/4 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 69, Shivam Dube 66 not out, MS Dhoni 20 not out; Hardik Pandya 2-43) against Mumbai Indians.

–IANS

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