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MI beat CSK by 6 wickets, cruise into fifth IPL final

Chennai: Mumbai Indians sailed into their fifth Indian Premier League (IPL) final as they defeated arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings by six wickets in the first Qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Tuesday.

Suryakumar top-scored for Mumbai with a crafty 71 off 54 balls not out, his innings was studded with 10 fours.

Suryakumar, who was dropped twice, brought up his seventh IPL fifty, and second this season, in 37 balls as Mumbai coasted to 132/4 in 18.3 overs.

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For Chennai, Imran Tahir returned best figures of 2/33.

Mumbai, led by Rohit Sharma, will now play the final on Sunday at Hyderabad.

Chasing 132 for victory on a typically slow wicket which is not easy to bat on, Mumbai were reduced to 21/2 in the first four overs.

Skipper Rohit was removed in the second ball of the innings after hitting a four, with Deepak Chahar trapping the star India batsman in front.

In-form Quinton de Kock (8) also did not last long, scooping a Harbhajan Singh delivery to his national team captain Faf du Plessis at wide long off.

From there on, there was no looking back for the visitors despite Tahir taking two wickets in two deliveries in the 14th over to dismiss Ishan Kishan (28) and Krunal Pandya (0) as Suryakumar hit the winning runs by smashing Deepak Chahar for a four.

Hardik Pandya was not out at the other end on 13 off 11 balls as Mumbai won with nine balls to spare.

Earlier, an unbeaten 66-run stand between M.S. Dhoni (37 not out off 29) and Ambati Rayudu (42 off 37) helped CSK post 131/4.

Despite losing their top order for just 65 runs, it was Dhoni and Rayudu who anchored the Chennai innings.

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.

Suresh Raina 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.

Murali 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.

Dhoni then joined Rayudu 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, M.S. Dhoni 37 not out, Rahul Chahar 2/14); Mumbai Indians 132/4 in 18.3 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 71, Imran Tahir 2/33)

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