Mumbai | Ajinkya Rahane smashed the fastest half-century of IPL 2023 — off just 19 balls — and Ruturaj Gaikwad struck an unbeaten 40 to power Chennai Super Kings to a seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians here on Saturday.
An ordinary Mumbai Indians succumbed to their second consecutive defeat in as many matches while CSK recorded their second win on the trot, moving to the fourth spot in the points table while the five-time winners remained at eighth.
The 34-year-old Rahane made a cracking debut for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, producing one of the most brutal knocks in the competition to make 61 from only 27 balls with seven fours and three sixes while recording the fastest fifty of the league this year.
Rahane's blitz and Gaikwad's knock, combined with the efforts of Chennai spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner who shared five wickets earlier, fuelled CSK's win over arch rivals Mumbai Indians.
CSK finished at 159/3 in 18.1 overs chasing 158, winning with 11 balls to spare.
Rahane collected 23 runs hitting Arshad Khan for four boundaries and a six in the fourth over while CSK's young gun Gaikwad happily took the backseat.
Rahane truly looked at home on his 'home ground' Wankhede Stadium, unleashing delightful strokes that reaffirmed Chennai Super Kings' command on the game.
Rahane and Gaikwad came together in the first over of CSK's chase with Devon Conway playing one onto his wickets off Jason Behrendorff. They added 82 runs for the second wicket before Rahane perished in the eighth over, caught by Suryakumar Yadav off Piyush Chawla.
With Rahane's blitz at the top and CSK bringing down the equation to almost a run-a-ball by the 10th over, Gaikwad enjoyed the freedom to build his innings. The right-handed opener struck his first four only on the 20th delivery and in the 10th over when CSK were nearing the 100-run mark.
Gaikwad made 40 not out from 36 balls with two fours and a six, adding 43 runs for the third wicket with Shivam Dube (28) and another 34 runs with Ambati Rayudu (20 not out) to take CSK over the line.
Earlier, Jadeja (4-0-20-3) and Santner (4-0-28-2) shared five wickets to lead Chennai Super Kings' charge as Mumbai Indians hobbled to 157/8.
The pair halted Mumbai's advance after the home side had raced to 61 for one in the powerplay, with MI's fight petering out against CSK's spinners who made up for the absence of strike bowler Deepak Chahar.
The India and CSK seamer looked far from best and struggled to even complete his first over, post which he left the field..
An opening stand of 38 runs between skipper Rohit Sharma (21 off 12 balls) and Ishan Kishan (32) was the best partnership for Mumbai, with Suryakumar Yadav's struggle continuing and young batters flopping again.
Rohit hit the first six of the game off Tushar Deshpande (3-0-31-2) but the local player, playing for CSK, had the final laugh, rattling the MI captain off a terrific delivery that held its line to crash into the off and middle stump while the batter looked to play it on midwicket.
With a strong start Mumbai looked well-positioned to launch for a big total, but instead, collapsed to 84/5 in 10 overs, losing four wickets for just 23 runs in 24 balls with Jadeja and Santner causing the damage.
Kishan made a brisk start but Jadeja had him caught at long on in the seventh over. Suryakumar was left baffled when MS Dhoni made the right DRS call appealing for a caught-behind in the eighth over, with the batter trying to sweep a delivery angled down the leg side from Santner.
The umpire, who had called it a wide, had to overturn his decision as replays showed the ball flicked Suryakumar's gloves before settling into Dhoni's.
Mumbai's slide continued with Green (12) hitting one powerfully back at Jadeja, who grabbed a sharp catch.
Arshad Khan was adjudged out leg-before in the 10th over off Santner and Jadeja pinned Tilak Verma (22 off 18 balls) in front of the wickets to keep the Mumbai Indians under the pump.
With pressure piling up, Tristan Stubbs (5) perished in the 16th over as South Africa's Sisanda Magala took his first wicket in the IPL for CSK.
However, vital contributions from Tim David (31 off 22 balls) and Hrithik Shokeen (18 not out) took Mumbai past the 150-run mark.