A valuable unbeaten 66-run stand between MS Dhoni (37 not out off 29) and Ambati Rayudu (42 off 37) helped Chennai Super Kings post a paltry 131/4 against Mumbai Indians in the first Qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Tuesday.
Despite losing their top order for just 65 runs, it was Dhoni and Rayudu who anchored the Chennai innings. However, a slow Chennai wicket didn't let the home side reach a challenging total against the three-time IPL champions.
For Mumbai, Rahul Chahar starred with the ball with figures of 2/14 from his four overs while Krunal Pandya and Jayant Yadav bagged a wicket each.
Opting to bat first, the defending champions got off to a slow start with just 6 runs on the scorecard in the first two overs before Rahul came up with the first breakthrough, dismissing Faf du Plessis (6 off 11) in the first ball of the third over.
Incoming batsman and Chennai's most dependable batsman Suresh Raina also couldn't do much as he also departed cheaply after being caught and bowled by Jayant Yadav. Things worsened for the home side when Krunal packed back Shane Watson (10 off 13), with Chennai reeling at 32/3 in 6 overs.
Murli Vijay (26 off 26) and Rayudu then tried to put things back in order as they added 33 runs for the fourth wicket before the former became a victim of Chahar in the 13th over.
New batsman Dhoni then joined Rayudu in the middle and the duo denied Mumbai any further inroads as they shared a 66-run partnership to take Chennai to 131, thanks to the Chennai skipper's couple of lusty blows off Lasith Malinga in the second last over.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 131/4 (Ambati Rayudu 42 not out, MS Dhoni 37 not out; Rahul Chahar 2/14)
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