Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday became the first captain in Indian Premier League history to win 100 matches after Chennai Super Kings’ 5-wicket victory over defending champions Mumbai Indians in the opening match in Abu Dhabi.
Dhoni extended his lead over the rest of the pack after CSK chased down 163 against MI at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium to register their first win over Rohit Sharma’s side in over 2 years.
CSK had lost 5 games in a row in the past against MI, which is the only team to have a superior head-to-head record against the yellow brigade. MI meanwhile, have now lost all 8 of their IPL opening matches since the 2013 season.
“We may practice enough but when you go on the field you need to assess the conditions and give it your best. It took us time for the bowlers to find the right length on this pitch. Plenty of positives but still plenty of areas for us to improve.
“In the second half, there is a bit of movement till the dew sets in. If you don’t lose wickets early, you have the upper hand. These are the learnings. Rayudu had a wonderful partnership with Faf. Most of us are retired so luckily no injuries as well. The experience pays off, everyone talks about it,” Dhoni said after the game.
Put in to bat, Mumbai could not capitalise on the strong start they got from Quinton de Kock (33) and skipper Rohit Sharma (12) who fell in successive overs.
Du Plessis took two spectacular catches near the rope to send back Saurabh Tiwary (42) and Hardik Pandya (14) in the same Ravindra Jadeja over to peg back Mumbai.
Fellow South African Lungi Ngidi claimed three wickets, including that of the dangerous Kieron Pollard (18), as Mumbai managed only 41 runs in the last six overs, losing six wickets in the process.
Chennai, led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, lost both openers early but Rayudu kept their chase on track with his calculated aggression, while Du Plessis stayed put till victory was sealed.