Ambati Rayudu’s 48-ball 72 helped Chennai Super Kings (CSK) beat Mumbai Indians (MI) by five wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) season opener on Saturday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Rayudu came in when CSK were 6/2 at the start of the third over while chasing a target of 163.
He went on to post a 115-run stand for the third wicket with Faf du Plessis (58 not out). Rayudu was declared man of the match for his innings. “We were training and it was stop start. We were also training in the summer before it got postponed," said Rayudu in the post-match presentation ceremony.
“The pitch was doing a bit with the new ball but it came a bit easier once the dew came on. We just wanted to get stuck in there and get through. We practiced in Chennai, that really helped and then in Dubai as well so, very happy," he said.
This is the first time after five attempts that CSK have managed to beat MI and it also makes eight consecutive defeats in the opening match of an IPL season for the latter. They next face Delhi Capitals in Dubai on September 24.
MI captain Rohit Sharma said that the difference between the two sides was the fact that none of their batsmen carried on the way Faf du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu did for CSK. The duo put up a 115-run stand for the third wicket with both scoring fifties to practically take the game away from MI.
MI were restricted to 162/9 despite being 121/3 at the start of the 15th over.
“None of our batsmen carried on for us, like du Plessis and Rayudu did for CSK. Credit to the CSK bowlers, they bowled well at the end to pull things back," he said.
“We all want to start really well… it’s crucial in this tournament where momentum is important. Few things for us to learn from this game, we did make a few mistakes. Hopefully we’ll rectify those and come out smarter in the next game," he added.