Lasith Malinga looked stunned when Mike Hussey swept his fast yorker to the boundary. But by the end of the evening, it was Malinga’s turn to leave Chennai Super Kings shattered.
What he couldn’t do with the ball, Malinga ( 37 off 18 balls) did with the bat when CSK had all but wrapped it up. Coming in at No. 9, he hit left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati for two consecutive sixes in the 17th over and even Mr Cool MS Dhoni panicked.
He missed a stumping and when Malinga’s edge off Bollinger went to the third-man boundary in the 18th, the match had turned on its head. Mumbai Indians needed 11 off the last over and with Doug Bollinger bowling, the IPL champions still fancied their chances.
But Malinga was in the zone and when Harbhajan hit the crucial boundary with two balls to go, it was all over for CSK. Harbhajan kept his head and finished the job in 19.5 overs, which gave Mumbai Indians one of their best wins ever.
Chasing 159 for victory, the Mumbai Indians started with a flourish with Sachin Tendulkar, sitting in the dressing-room, looking really happy. Davy Jacobs and Aiden Blizzard were going great guns, but the moment Dhoni brought his spinners on, things started falling into place for CSK.
Ashwin had Jacobs stumped down the legs while Raina got the wickets of Blizzard and Suman with subtle variations of flight that left Mumbai Indians in the doldrums.
Local boy R Sathish looked to take the fight to CSK, but Ashwin’s carrom ball had him plumb in front. When Kieron Pollard left, even the biggest Mumbai fan didn’t expect a win, but Malinga had other ideas.
Earlier, Hussey was in a league of his own. He has been playing for CSK for the last three seasons and knows all about the conditions. He knows that the pitch is slow (despite being relaid) and the best way is to wait for the ball instead of committing early.