IPL 2019: Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga shine as Mumbai beats Chennai by 46 runs

Rohit Sharma’s fifty and an all-round bowling performance helps Mumbai Indians inch closer to playoffs.

Rohit Sharma's first half-century of the season powered Mumbai Indians to an eventually winning total of 155.   -  pti

When reporting a Chennai Super Kings-Mumbai Indians IPL match at Chepauk, one can hear screams and chest-thumping roars for every boundary or a wicket. Even though the host kept losing wickets every two overs, the game was alive for the spectators.

MI maintained its winning streak at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium as it beat a sluggish CSK by 46 runs on Friday. With 14 points on the table, Rohit Sharma and Co. can breathe easy en route to the playoffs.

Highlights| CSK vs MI

Chasing 156 on this strip did not pose a threat on paper, but the action in the middle followed a different script. It's the same wicket where Royal Challengers Bangalore had folded for 70 runs. At the same time, Sunrisers scored 175 two games earlier.

CSK had made three changes. Regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja sat out due to viral fever. Faf du Plessis made way for Murali Vijay.

Batsman Dhruv Shorey got a game along with New Zealand all-rounder Mitchell Santner. None of it proved effective as the star-studded side folded for 109.

Vijay, playing his first game of the season, struck a smart 38 off 35 balls (4x3, 6x1). He was the highest-scorer for CSK. Shane Watson started with two fours off Lasith Malinga but the Sri Lankan pacer got the better of the Aussie in the same over. Rahul Chahar plucked the offering at short-fine leg.

FOLLOW: 2019 IPL FULL COVERAGE

Stand-in skipper Suresh Raina (2) lasted four balls. The left-hander played a reckless shot off Hardik Pandya to gift a catch to Suryakumar Yadav at backward point. Ambati Rayudu's poor run continued as Krunal Pandya, who picked two wickets, cleaned him up for a duck.

World Cup-bound Kedar Jadhav struggled for 11 balls to score 6. He played a Krunal delivery onto his stumps to literally end CSK's hopes.

Vijay, at the other end, continued his cricketing shots, which included a six off Hardik. Jasprit Bumrah dismissed the veteran batsman to claim his only wicket in the game. Suryakumar Yadav caught him at backward point.

Malinga was the pick of the bowlers as he returned with handsome figures of 4/37.

READ| IPL 2019 points table: Team standings and rankings

Rohit hits first fifty

Sent in to bat, MI got off to a steady start but ran out of steam in the middle overs. The CSK bowlers bowled in the right areas to contain Hardik Pandya (23* off 18 balls; 4x1, 6x1) and Kieron Pollard (13* off 12; 4x2) except the last two overs; MI scored 27 to get to 155.

After a string of starts in the tournament, MI skipper Rohit Sharma (67 off 48 balls; 4x6, 6x3) finally tasted success. The right-hander registered his first fifty of the season and he meant business from the first ball faced.  Rohit started off with a four off Deepak Chahar. The delivery had a bit of movement but Rohit waited for the curve. He stuck his bat out to find a boundary through the wide of cover.

In-form Quinton De Kock launched an attack on Chahar in the PowerPlay. The southpaw anticipated the length quickly to score 10 runs off two balls. First – he smashed a six off a back of a length delivery and then, a four off a smart drive through covers.

Quick to react to such treatment, the bowler unleashed the disguised slower to find the South African’s top edge; Rayudu took a sitter.

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Tight and economical, Harbhajan Singh called the shots in his first three overs – conceding only nine runs – before Rohit took him on. He dispatched the flighted deliveries for two sixes, one over deep mid-wicket and the other, over long-on.

Evin Lewis played a supporting act (32 off 30; 4x3, 6x1) to start his World Cup preparations. Rohit and Lewis stitched 75 runs for the second wicket. 

Mitchell Santner started causing all sorts of problem with the left-arm spin with two slips in place.  He removed the Caribbean – caught by Dwayne Bravo – to bring CSK back into the game.  Krunal Pandya did not last long. The slog-sweep off Imran Tahir found Santner at deep mid-wicket. 

Being in the middle of dismissals perhaps charged the Kiwi further as he removed Rohit in the 17th over to return with mind-boggling T20 figures, 4-0-13-2. Harbhajan remained wicketless but kept things tight in the initial overs. Tahir picked up one wicket for 37 runs.