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MI skipper Hardik Pandya names player who turned out to be difference in IPL’s ‘El Clasico’

First Published: 15th April, 2024 10:15 IST

After the opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan bashed CSK in the powerplay, it was Pathirana who made the difference in the 8th over.

Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya feels Matheesha Pathirana turned out to be the “difference” in the IPL’s ‘El Clasico,’ which ended with the Chennai Super Kings emerging triumphant.

In the clash of heavyweights, which turned out to be a high-scoring run-fest, CSK turned it up a notch to clinch a 20-run victory at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday in the ongoing IPL.

After the opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan bashed CSK in the powerplay, it was Pathirana who made the difference in the 8th over.

He brought an end to the 70-run stand by dismissing Kishan and then sending Suryakumar Yadav for a two-ball duck following a moment of brilliance in the field by Mustafizur Rahman.

“Definitely it was gettable. But I think they bowled pretty well, Pathirana was the difference. He came and got the wickets, at the same time they were also quite smart with their approach. They used the longer boundary well,” Haridk said after the game.

“It was about batting well and keeping our intent, which we did till Pathirana came in. We were on course to get the total, those couple of wickets [in his first over] we lost set us back. From there we were chasing the game,” he added.

CSK had a number of players using variation to exploit conditions and bag wickets. Shardul Thakur was among those, but he got smacked all over the park. He ended up conceding 33 runs in his first three overs.

Even Mustafizur Rahman struggled to find his rhythm and conceded 55 runs in his four-over spell. However, Shardul came back to concede just two runs in his final over and make the equation 77 off 36.

Tushar Deshpande followed it up by removing skipper Pandya, which turned the equation to 72 off 24.

“They were smart with the plans and their approach. They got the hang of it, there’s a man behind the stumps (Dhoni) who tells them what’s working, that helps. It (pitch) was holding up a bit and getting difficult,” Pandya added.

Coming to the match, MI put CSK to bat after winning the toss. CSK soared high with valiant knocks from Shivam Dube (66*) and skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad (69). MS Dhoni added the finishing touches with his short cameo, powering CSK to 206/4.

In reply, Rohit Sharma stuck a rollicking 105* but failed to get MI across the finishing line. (ANI)

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