Sharma’s unbeaten half-century downs Chennai

Rohit Sharma’s brilliant half-century helped Mumbai Indians in registering an eight-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Pune on Sunday.The day started with Mumbai – who was in desperate need of a win — winning the toss and opting to field first.

The decision paid instant dividend instantly as in-form all-rounder Shane Watson departed after scoring 12. But a 71-run partnership for the second-wicket between opener Ambati Rayudu and veteran middle-order batsman Suresh Raina put the home side on track for a big finish.

However, the visitors made a grand comeback in the final 10 overs of the innings to restrict Chennai to 169 for five in their allotted 20 overs. Raina finished the innings with the top score of 75 not out off 47 balls with the help of six fours and four sixes, whereas Rayudu scored 46 off 35 balls with the help of two fours and four sixes.

For Mumbai, left-arm pacer Mitchell McClenaghan and left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya claimed two wickets each. In reply, the visitors had a solid beginning courtesy 69-run opening partnership between Suryakumar Yadav and Evin Lewis.

Once Yadav departed in the 10th over, Sharma came out to bat and played an astonishing knock to seal a comfortable win for Mumbai with two balls to spare.Sharma remained 56 not out off just 33 balls with the help of six fours and two sixes. He was well supported by Lewis (47 off 45 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes) and Yadav (44 off 34 balls with the help of five fours and one six).

For Chennai, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo claimed one wicket each. For his outstanding batting performance, Sharma was awarded player of the match.

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