Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), started the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 by playing out an electrifying contest at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday (September 19).
The thirteenth season-opener also marked the return of CSK skipper MS Dhoni to competitive cricket after a gap of 437 days. MSD was last seen in the 2019 World Cup during a semi-final clash against New Zealand.
Armed with a new beard look, Dhoni exhibited his vintage wicket-keeping style by plucking two outstanding catches.
During the 17th over of MI innings bowled by Lungi Ngidi, the Ranchi-lad took a sharp diving catch to his right of Krunal Pandya. In the very next over of Ngidi, Dhoni grabbed a simple catch of Kieron Pollard.
The catch of Pollard put Dhoni in an elite list as he became the first wicketkeeper in history to effect 250 dismissals in Twenty20 cricket. The 39-year-old also became the second keeper in IPL to take 100 catches after Dinesh Karthik.
Dhoni becomes the first skipper to record 100 wins as captain
The Super Kings, through their solid bowling effort, restricted MI to 162/9. In response, CSK registered a comprehensive five-wicket win over Rohit Sharma-led side.
With the victory, Dhoni recorded his 100th win as a CSK captain. He became the first skipper in IPL history to triumph 100 matches.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) September 19, 2020
“We may practice enough, but when you go on the field, you need to assess the conditions and give it your best. It took us time for the bowlers to find the right length on this pitch—plenty of positives but still plenty of areas for us to improve. In the second half, there is a bit of movement till the dew sets in,” said Dhoni at the post-match presentation.
“If you don’t lose wickets early, you have the upper hand. These are the learnings. Rayudu had an excellent partnership with Faf. Most of us are retired, so luckily no injuries as well.”
“The experience pays off; everyone talks about it. You get it only after you play a lot of games. 300 ODIs is a dream for anybody to play, and when you put an XI on the field, you need a good mix of youngsters and experienced players. You need the professional players to guide the youngsters on and off the field,” Dhoni added.