The spinners made a huge impact in the first qualifier which was played between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday. First, it was MI spinners who broke CSK's backbone by accounting for their top order batsmen which put the hosts in a precarious situation. In the second innings, one of the home team's star leg-spinner Imran Tahir who took two wickets off consecutive deliveries that almost tilted the momentum in CSK's favour.
It happened in the 14th over of Mumbai's run chase. Mumbai were cruising towards an easy win with two set batsmen in the middle. Suryakumar Yadav and young Ishan Kishan had added an 80-run stand after MI were reduced to 21/2. CSK needed some quick wickets at that stage to make a comeback and Tahir did just that. On the fifth delivery, Tahir bowled a skidder which completely bamboozled Kishan as his off stump went for a walk. He then scalped Krunal Pandya in the very next ball. However, the surprising thing about this dismissal was that when Tahir had taken a return catch of Pandya and claimed the catch. The on-field umpire Nigel Llong did not look so impressive and the matter was taken to the third umpire. Replays showed that the bat had hit the toe-end of Krunal's bat. The decision went in favour of the hosts as the MI all-rounder walked back to the dugout for a golden duck.
The video of Tahir's two consecutive wickets was posted on Twitter. Take a look.
However, CSK could not make the most of these breakthroughs as Suryakumar Yadav took the visitors past the finish line with more than an over to spare. Yadav played an unbeaten knock of a 54-ball 71 at a strike rate of 131.48.
Earlier, CSK had won the toss and elected to bat first. After they were reeling at 65/4, skipper MS Dhoni (37*) and Ambati Rayudu (42*) then added 66 runs for the fifth wicket. Their crucial knocks helped the defending champions get to 131/4 in their 20 overs.