IPL Eliminator: Raina and Sharma help Chennai knock defending champions out of IPL

Raina was named Man of the Match for his stellar knock of 54

Raina was named Man of the Match for his stellar knock of 54

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

India batsman Suresh Raina smashed a spectacular unbeaten half-century and pace bowler Mohit Sharma took three wickets to help the Chennai Super Kings crush the Mumbai Indians, who are the defending champions, by seven wickets and knock them out of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Even though Chennai’s performance stole the spotlight, Mumbai opener Lendl Simmons deserves a lot of credit for scoring an entertaining half-century.

Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have been brooding over whether he made the right decision to bowl first after Simmons and Michael Hussey amassed a 76-run partnership before Hussey was clean bowled by Ravindra Jadeja for 39.

New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson scored 20 runs before he was caught by Ishwar Pandey at deep backward square leg off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin.

Simmons ended up making 67 off 44 balls, which included five boundaries and four sixes, before he was caught by Raina at long-on off the bowling of Jadeja.

Simmons scored a valiant 67

Simmons scored a valiant 67

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma made 20 runs before he was caught by Brendon McCullum at short third man off the bowling of Sharma.

Kieron Pollard only made 14 runs before he was caught by Sharma at deep backward square leg off the bowling of Ashish Nehra.

Nehra struck again just two balls later when Aditya Tare was caught by Faf du Plessis at extra cover for a golden duck.

Ambati Rayudu fared no better as he was caught by David Hussey at cover off the bowling of Sharma.

Praveen Kumar mustered one run before he was clean bowled to become Sharma’s third victim of the match.

Mumbai eventually finished on 173/8 off their 20 overs.

Sharma was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Jadeja and Nehra snapped up two wickets apiece and Ashwin chipped in with one.

Sharma dismissed three Mumbai batsmen in quick succession

Sharma dismissed three Mumbai batsmen in quick succession

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Chasing 174 to win, Chennai got off to a brilliant start as du Plessis and Dwayne Smith put together a 60-run partnership before Smith was caught by Pollard at long-on off the bowling of Harbhajan Singh for 24.

Du Plessis went on to score 35 runs before he was caught by Ben Dunk, who was the substitute fielder, at long-off off the bowling of Singh.

McCullum only made 14 runs before he was stumped by Tare off the bowling of Pragyan Ojha.

Hussey and Raina finished things off with an unbeaten 89-run partnership, during which Raina brought up his half-century.

Raina ended up scoring 54 off 33 balls, which included four boundaries and two sixes, while Hussey remained undefeated on 40 off 29 deliveries, which included two boundaries and three sixes.

Singh was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Ojha claimed one.

Sharma was disappointed to have been knock out of the tournament, and said: “Dont think so. We batted well till the 15th-16th over. 170 was a good enough target. We would have liked some more but we really played well and I have a lot of pride in this side and how long we’ve come in this tournament. This just wasn’t our day.”

Dhoni was ecstatic to have made it to the second qualifier, and said: “I think the bowlers did a real good job. It was a very good wicket to bat on. Asish and Ishwar moved the ball around a bit. In the middle overs, the spinners bowled well. 180-185 was a par score, good track, fast outfield and not too big boundaries. 173 was just a bit under par, but we needed to score the runs. It would have been better had the top order carried on after.

“I though those catches would have been dropped, but Ishwar’s catch was brilliant. Anderson will try and swing and I kept Ashwin for him and it paid off. That’s where experience counts. I felt with Hussey around, if he gets going he can accelerate and the firepower with me and Jaddu around, we could chase 9 or 10 an over.”

Raina was named Man of the Match, and said: “God has been very kind to me [after being named captain of India for Bangladesh]. We executed the bowing plan really well. And then the batsmen, all of them did their job. I knew I had to bat till the last over. [The] Wicket was really good, the ball was coming on nicely. I knew I could hit Ojha over midwicket and Bhajji over cover. Huss was batting well and we were running between the wickets well too. Ishwar took a brilliant catch to dismiss Anderson and hopefully we can continue playing good cricket in the next two games as well.”

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