It turned out to be a poignant, melancholic drama with all the elements of a Greek tragedy for the innumerable aficionados of Chennai Super Kings, (CSK) in their home turf on Tuesday.
The reigning champion with a splendid record in the first phase succumbed to a six wicket defeat against the Mumbai Indians (MI) for the third time in as many matches this season.
For MS Dhoni and his men it was an uninspiring performance that should be forgotten at once if the team aspires to win the next qualifier and then take MI in the final. It does seem to be an arduous task at this juncture.
Opting to bat first, the home team failed to click from the start. The MI bowlers, Malinga, Bumrah. Pandya and Chahar kept the batsmen on a tight leash crippling them effective stroke play.
After the exit of Watson, there was a semblance of a recovery with du Plessis taking the initiative. But Chahar dismissed him for six runs and the dangerous batsman, Raina left the scene caught and bowled by Jayant Yadav.
Sings of reconstruction were there when M Vijay and Rayudu came on the scene. But that did not long as Vijay was beaten by the spin and flight of Rahul Chahar and de Kock did a smart stumping.
Rayudu held on gamely in the company of Dhoni but there were not enough overs left to compile a decent total. Rayudu remained unbeaten with 42 off 37 balls and Dhoni with 37 off 29 balls with three 6s. But all these could not take the home team beyond 131 runs in the allotted 20 overs.
Mumbai had a bad start losing skipper Sharma, trapped leg before by Deepak Chahar. But Suryakumar Yadav rose to the occasion magnificently. He tackled the CSK attack led by Tahir with caution and complied runs diligently in the company of I Krishan. Yadav remained unbeaten with 71 runs in 54 balls that included ten 4s. It was a really a match winning effort that brought Yadav the man of the match award.
Skipper Rohit Sharma described the match as a great effort was delighted to be playing the final.
CSK will play the winner of the eliminator, Delhi v Hyderabad, to come off today at Visakhapatnam. CSK’s next match is on Friday, May 10 here.