Ambati Rayudu continued his good form with the bat leading Mumbai Indians to an emphatic six-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings in their Indian Premier League match at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday.
Mumbai got to the 159-run target in 19.2 overs thanks to the unbeaten 34-run knock by Rayudu, who was ably supported by Hardik Pandya (21*) who smashed three sixes in the penultimate over bowled by Pawan Negi, who conceded 25 runs in that over.
The Mumbai run chase got off to a good start with Lendl Simmons (38) and Parthiv Patel (45) putting up a 84-run opening stand.
But R Ashwin dismissed both Simmons and Patel in one over and then Kieron Pollard (1) was run out in the next over by Dwayne Bravo.
Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma hit 18 runs before he was caught by Suresh Raina at long-on off Bravo, but in the end Pandya's pyrotechnics in the slog overs took Mumbai to victory.
With this victory, Mumbai ended Chennai's winning streak at home that saw them win 10 games in a row.
In a game full of fluctuating fortunes, Chennai seemed to be in front, with their spin trio stifling the opposition ranks. However, Pandya walloped Negi for three sixes in the penultimate over to change the course of the game.
Dhoni got into the groove late into his innings to the delight of his fans at Chepauk.
Earlier, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Pawan Negi gave a late surge to Chennai innings that ended at 158/5.
Dhoni (39 not out off 32 balls) and Negi (36 off 17) shared a 54-run stand and smashed 53 off the last five overs to push Super Kings to a fighting total after the hosts struggled for runs in major part of the innings.
The home team had a rather quiet start by the standard of their explosive openers as they reached 44 for one in the first six overs.
Brendon McCullum (23 off 11) was given a life early on with Harbhajan Singh dropping a simple catch at backward square leg off left-arm spinner J Suchith.
It seemed the New Zealander will make Mumbai pay for their mistake when he hit three successive fours off medium pacer Vinay Kumar.
However, much to the relief of the visitors, the dangerous batsman was caught at deep mid-wicket the next ball after he mistimed another hit off the Karnataka bowler.
His opening partner Smith too was holed out at deep-midwicket, as well as Suresh Raina, who was sent back with a brilliant running catch by Hardik Pandya, leaving Super Kings at 67/3 in 10 overs. Pandya was the catcher in all three dismissals.
Faf du Plessis (17) and Dhoni then gathered 39 runs for the fourth wicket just but just when they looked ready for the death overs onslaught, the South African fell to a leaping catch by Lendl Simmons off pacer Mitchell McClenaghan.
Dhoni now had Negi by his side and the Delhi based cricketer, coming ahead of Ravindra Jadeja, did not disappoint his skipper, smashing four fours and a six in quick time.
The captain too got into the groove late into his innings, collecting two sixes and as many boundaries to the delight of his fans at Chepauk.