Rayudu and Du Plessis shine as Chennai avenge final loss to Mumbai in IPL opener

By Liam Blackburn 20 September 2020 48
Rayudu and Du Plessis shine as Chennai avenge final loss to Mumbai in IPL opener

Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis led the way as Chennai Super Kings won the IPL opener and exacted a measure of revenge for their 2019 final loss to Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi.

In a repeat of the final of the previous edition of the IPL - when Mumbai beat the then-defending champions Chennai by a single run - the Super Kings chased down 163 to win.

They did so despite losing openers Shane Watson and Murali Vijay in the first two overs of their reply as Rayudu smashed 71 off 48 and shared a third-wicket stand of 115 with Du Plessis.

The South African finished unbeaten on 58 to see his side home alongside scoreless Chennai captain MS Dhoni, with the India great - who recently retired from international cricket - playing for the first time since the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

The defending champions made a strong start and were 46 without loss in the fifth over, but no one was able to go on and make a big total as Saurabh Tiwary top-scored with 42.

Mumbai were 46-6 across the final seven overs of their innings as they made 162-9, with Lungi Ngidi taking 3-38.

The partnership between Rayudu and Du Plessis proved pivotal, though the former perished when caught and bowled by Rahul Chahar with the final ball of the 16th over.

England all-rounder Sam Curran, making his debut for the Super Kings, stepped in at six and his 18 from six balls brought Chennai to the verge of victory.

For once, Dhoni was not 'the finisher' as he failed to score off the two balls he faced, with Du Plessis instead striking back-to-back fours to give Chennai victory with four balls to spare - their first win over Mumbai in five attempts.

 

ANOTHER OPENING LOSS FOR MUMBAI

The Indians have won the IPL a record four times, but this was the eighth year in a row in which they had lost their opening game of the tournament.

DHONI SURVIVES FIRST-BALL DUCK

It had been 437 days since Dhoni last took to the crease - in India's World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand - and he only just survived a first-ball duck. He was initially given out after appearing to feather a Jasprit Bumrah bouncer behind, but the decision was overturned and Dhoni was there at the end, though, for once, he was not the one bringing it home.

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Liam Blackburn

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