The only thing spectacular for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL13 has been their unravelling. Coach Stephen Fleming had spoken about CSK’s tried and trusted finally running out of juice. Friday’s 10-wicket loss against Mumbai Indians (MI) — a first for victors and vanquished in IPL history — made that comment seem like an understatement.
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With Rohit Sharma rested to heal a left leg hamstring strain, Ishan Kishan (68; 37b; 4×6; 6×5) opened with Quinton de Kock (46; 37b; 4×5; 6×2) and MI motored to victory with 7.4 overs to spare and go top. Kishan played so well square of the wicket that he reverse-swept Ravindra Jadeja for a six to reach his half-century. The next ball was dispatched for another six over long-on where Kishan had also sent Imran Tahir who finally got a game.
Rarely does a T20 end as a contest before the game’s third over. This was, because by 2.5 overs, CSK were 3/4 with Ruturaj Gaikwad, N Jagadeeshan, Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis dismissed. Yes, Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah, who shared those wickets, were accurate but it was lack of footwork and, in Rayudu’s case, bravado that unhinged the top order.
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Ravindra Jadeja’s cavalier charge on Boult fetched the New Zealander his third wicket and when MS Dhoni and Deepak Chahar were foxed by Rahul Chahar’s flight, it showed that the malaise had spread to the middle-order.
If CSK got to 114/9, it was because in a team of ageing stars, all-rounder Sam Curran has been an aberration. He made 52 (47b; 4×4; 6×2), three of his boundaries coming in the last over bowled by Boult (4/18) before the left-armer felled Curran with a yorker to end the innings. The pull with which Curran got to his half-century was so good that it went close to the fine-leg fielder but gave him no chance.
Curran and Tahir (13) added 43 for the eighth wicket. CSK lost two wickets in the second half of the innings but the match was won and lost way earlier.