Super Kings restart IPL with victory over champions Mumbai Indians
Indian Premier League champions Mumbai Indians restarted their season with a 20-run defeat to Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.
With the season having been suspended due to an increase in coronavirus cases in India earlier in the year, the IPL resumed in the United Arab Emirates with a contest between two sides who had started the delayed 2020 season a year ago to the day.
It was the Super Kings who came out on top, with Ruturaj Gaikwad's 88 not out from 58 deliveries leading MS Dhoni's team to 156-6.
Ravindra Jadeja (26) and Dwayne Bravo (23) offered some support before they both fell to Jasprit Bumrah, who finished with figures of 2-33 on his 100th appearance for the Indians.
Saurabh Tiwary hit an unbeaten half-century as Mumbai, who were without Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya, chased against a disciplined attack.
There was still a chance of victory when Mumbai went into the final over needing 24 runs.
Yet Bravo (3-25) struck twice, dismissing Adam Milne and Rahul Chahar to end the Indians' hopes, with the Super Kings moving to the top of the standings.
Pollard left to lament sloppy finish
"We didn't finish off well with the ball. Losing by 20 runs you know those were the extra runs we conceded," said Mumbai captain Kieron Pollard, and he was right – the Super Kings having struck 39 runs from the last three overs, which included five sixes and two boundaries.
After impressing during The Hundred in England, Milne was Mumbai's best performer with the ball, taking 2-21.
Gaikwad leads the charge
Bravo has to be praised for his flurry of three sixes late in the Super Kings' innings, while he also took the vital late wickets to all but wrap up the win.
However, the stage was set by the sensational Gaikwad, whose unbeaten 88 included nine fours and a further four sixes, at a strike rate of 151.72. He finished his time at the crease in style, sweeping Bumrah for six off the last ball.