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Rayudu blitz, Du Plessis calm hand fire CSK to five-wicket win in season opener
Match Report

Rayudu blitz, Du Plessis calm hand fire CSK to five-wicket win in season opener

Ambati Rayudu blazed his way to a fantastic 48-ball 71 while Faf du Plessis batted with supreme maturity to help Chennai Super Kings overcome an early wobble and defeat Mumbai Indians in the opening match of IPL 2020.

The bitter rivals were pitted against each other amid the backdrop of the "tactically different" bio-secure IPL played out in the absence of spectators.

CSK were initially hampered by a couple of quick strikes in their pursuit of the tricky 163-run target but prevailed thanks to a belligerent 115-stand between the two veterans, Rayudu and du Plessis.

Rayudu, who had announced his retirement from international cricket last year in anger after being overlooked for the 2019 World Cup, turned the tables on the incumbent champions and was further aided by sloppy fielding from Rohit Sharma's men.

Mumbai's spin duo of Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar found it hard to pull back the scoring rate despite a superb start provided to them by pacemen Trent Boult and James Pattinson in the Powerplay.

Their efforts to grip the ball effectively in order to generate turn was foiled by the dew factor that played a crucial role in swinging the contest back in the favour of the MS Dhoni-led CSK.

Additionally, Mumbai's star quick Jasprit Bumrah was off-colour throughout his four-over spell and was duly punished by the rampaging Chennai batsmen.

After Rayudu perished for his significant contribution laced with three maximums and six boundaries, the Super Kings found themselves in a bit of a bother as Ravindra Jadeja also departed soon.

Sam Curran's explosive six-ball cameo featuring a couple of towering sixes and a four dwarfed the task for Chennai as du Plessis hit the winning runs with four balls to spare.

Mumbai's innings was a tale of two halves since the momentum gained by their rollicking start gradually faded away in the face of wily bowling and spectacular fielding from South African du Plessis, in particular.

Quinton de Kock's enterprising charge was cut short by a slower ball from Curran while the experienced Piyush Chawla inflicted damage on the other end with the prized scalp of skipper Sharma.

Saurabh Tiwary and Suryakumar Yadav's budding partnership allowed Mumbai to recoup confidence but the strong foundation laid by them wilted as Lungi Ngidi scythed through the lower-order.

The title-holders lost their last six wickets for 41 runs and stumbled to 162-9 in 20 overs, failing to get the desired flourish in the end.

#IPL2020