Mumbai Indians on Thursday shattered defending champion Chennai Super Kings hopes of making it to the Indian Super League play-offs with a five-wicket win in a low-scoring match in Mumbai. MI chose to bowl and shot out CSK for 97 with pacer Daniel Sams (3/16 of 4 overs) running through the MS Dhoni-led side’s top order with three quick wickets in a fiery opening spell, then gasped and puffed to overhaul the small target of 98 with 31 balls left. MI trailed four wickets for 33 runs in the fifth left before Tilak Varma (34 not out of 32 balls) and Hrithik Shooken (18) calmed the frayed nerves with a 48-run stand for the fifth wicket. MI reached 103 for 5 in 14.5 overs.
Tim David didn’t stop at 16 on just seven balls.
With their eighth loss in 12 games, CSK is no longer eligible for a spot in the play-offs. They remained in ninth place with eight points.
Long gone from a playoff berth, MI remained rooted in 10th and bottom with three wins from 12 games.
Both CSK and MI have two unimportant games to play. It will be the first time in IPL history that neither MI nor CSK are part of the playoffs.
Mukesh Choudhary (3/23) defended 97 and skipped in the fifth ball of the opening when Ishan Kishan (6) jabbed far from his body to see a thin edge pass through to Dhoni behind the stumps.
MI Captain Rohit Sharma found a four each from Choudhary and Simarjeet Singh in the next two overs. But Simarjeet had the last laugh in the fourth over, when Rohit was caught by Dhoni.
Choudhary then raised hopes of a CSK miracle by getting Daniel Sams (1) and Tristan Stubbs (0) over in the space of three balls in the fifth.
MI was 36 for 4 after power play and Hrithik Shokeen survived after a rating.
Moeen Ali broke the fifth wicket partnership between Varma and Shooken by taking over the latter in the 13th, but it was too late as MI needed just 17 runs from 7.2 overs.
Earlier, Sams tore up the top CSK order from which the Dhoni-led team never recovered.
Riley Meredith and Kumar Kartikeya chipped in with two wickets each, while Jasprit Bumrah and Ramandeep Singh got one each when CSK folded innings to 16 overs.
CSK’s problems were compounded by the unavailability of the Decision Review System (DRS) due to a power outage to one of the floodlights at Wankhede Stadium after the start of their innings in which they lost three wickets, two of which were LBW decisions .
Captain Dhoni played a lone hand for CSK with a 33-ball 36 not out using four boundaries and two sixes. None of his colleagues gave him company in a pathetic percussion.
Dwayne Bravo (12), who shared 39 runs with Dhoni for the seventh wicket, the best partnership in the CSK innings, was the second best hitter. But for the 15 extras Mumbai bowlers admitted, the CSK total would have been much lower.
In the end, Dhoni had no more partners.
Conway, who played a match-winning knockout of 87 in CSK’s game against Delhi Capitals, was hit on the pad from the second ball of the innings bowled by Sams. The umpire raised his finger even though the ball hit him just below the knee roll and seemed to go down the leg. There was no DRS and Conway had to go for nothing.
Two balls later, Moeen Ali (0) shoved another Sams pitch for Hrithik Shooken to catch a flyout at short midwicket as CSK left two wickets for five runs in the opening over.
It was Bumrah’s turn to join the party when he fired Robin Uthappa (1), who was unable to ask for a DRS review of the LBW decision.
CSK got a bit of relief after the 10-ball chaos, but Sams wasn’t done yet when he removed opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (7) who moved behind the wicket to Ishan Kishan in the first ball of the fifth over. CSK was 32 for 5 after power play.
After Shivam Dubey was eliminated in the seventh over, Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo slowed the procession to the locker room as they brought CSK to 72 for 6 at the end of the 12th over.
But CSK was back to square one when Bravo, Simarjeet Singh and Maheesh Theekshana fell in the space of eight balls only to be reduced to 87 for 9 at the end of 15 overs.