By BV Swagath
Chennai Super Kings defeated defending champions Mumbai Indians by 7 wickets with 8 balls to spare in the Eliminator match of IPL 7 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
After restricting Mumbai Indians for 173 for 8, CSK got to the target comfortably thanks to clinical batting performance from Suresh Raina (54 not out from 33 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes) and David Hussey (40* from 29 balls with 2 fours and 3 sixes).
CSK got off to an ideal start of 60 for 1 in 6.2 overs with Dwayne Smith contributing 24 from 20 balls. Faf du Plessis provided the early momentum with his 20-ball 35. Harbhajan Singh brought the Mumbai Indians back in the game removing these two openers while Pragyan Ojha got the explosive Brendon McCullum stumped out to have CSK at 87 for 3 in 9.3 overs.
Mumbai’s hopes of winning the match were crushed by the 89-run stand for the unbroken 4th wicket between Raina and Hussey. CSK won the game without MS Dhoni coming into the middle.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians asked to bat first after losing the toss failed to cash in on the excellent opening start provided by Michael Hussey (39 from 33 balls) and Lendl Simmons. Mumbai Indians were 76 for 1 in 9.4 overs when Michael Hussey was cleaned up by Jadeja. Simmons went on to score 67 from 44 balls with 5 fours and 4 sixes. However, Mumbai Indians completely lost the momentum while heading towards the close.
Mohit Sharma took three wickets while Ashish Nehra and Jadeja chipped in with two wickets each for the Chennai Super Kings. Despite this victory, CSK will have to win another match against Kings XI Punjab to make it to the final.