Dhoni won the first battle against Tendulkar
Chennai Super Kings' captain Mahendra SinghDhoni called correctly and opted to bat first against Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League match at the MA Chidamabaram Stadium on Tuesday.
"It looks slightly softer track than the previous game," reasoned Dhoni, adding, "It may assist spinners later on but it should be a high-scoring game."
His opposite number, Sachin Tendulkar, seemed to concur.
"It looks a fantastic track," he said.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar (L) captain of Mumbai Indians with Mahendra Singh Dhoni captainof Chennai Super Kings during the toss
Photographs: IPL/ Getty Images
Haydos struggled to break free
Matthew Hayden top-scored with a 31-ball 35.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni contibuted an 18-ball 31.
And the duo put on 50 runs for the third wicket in just five overs, the best partnership in the Chennai innings.
Hayden was unusually quiet as Mumbai bowlers did not give him much chance to swing his bat and he hit just two boundaries and a six during his knock.
Dhoni's knock was inclusive of four hits to the fence.
Image: Matthew Hayden
Photographs: IPL/ Getty Images
Chennai had a sedate start
The home side had got off to the worst possible start when Murali Vijay (14) was back at the pavilion as early as the fourth when he dragged a Harbhajan Singh delivery on to his stumps.
Their innings picked up the tempo when Suresh Raina (23) tried to force the pace.
The left-hander smashed Dwayne Bravo for a huge six in the ninth over but perished two balls later holing out to Shikhar Dhawan at deep midwicket.
Image: Mumbai Indians' players celebrate a wicket
Pollard was the pick of the MI bowlers
Kieron Pollard struck twice in his second over - the 14th of the innings - to have the home team reeling at 119 for four.
Chennai, who had made 85 for two at the the halfway mark and looking on their settled duo of Hayden and Dhoni to do the trick were in for a shock.
Dhoni, who had accelerated the scoring rate with some lusty blows, mistimed a slow ball from the West Indies allrounder and the latter took a comfortable catch on his follow through.
Hayden's uncharacteristic innings came to an end when Rajagopal Sathish took an easy catch at long-on.
Image: Kieron Pollard of the Mumbai Indians
Badrinath failed to impress
S Badrinath denied Pollard a hat-trick and went on to make a 22-ball 30.
But the left-hander and Australian Michael Hussey, playing in his first IPL III match, failed to provide the final thrust to the Chennai innings, adding just 41 runs from the final five overs.
Hussey manged just 14 off 15 balls and his innings didn't include a single boundary.
Image: Subramanian Badrinath
Sachin Tendulkar again top-scored for Mumbai
Sachin Tendulkar was again the pick of the batsmen for the Mumbai Indians.
The captain put on 46 runs in six overs with Shikar Dhawan (16) for the opening wicket.
He retired ill during the first strategic timeout (after nine overs) when he was on 38.
However, with Mumbai crashing to 89 for seven from 62 for one - when Tendulkar retired ill, the captain had to come back to bat.
But he didn't last long, hitting straight to Murali Vijay at long-on off Thilana Thushara.
Tendulkar's 35-ball 45 was inclusive of six hits to the fence.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
The MI collapse was inexplicable
The Mumbai Indians collapse was dramatic and inexplicable.
From 69 for two in the 11th over, they slumped to 89 for seven in 15th.
And when Sachin Tendulkar succumbed in the 17th over, it looked as good as over.
There was some raerguard action from Harbhajan Singh (33).
But it was not enough to ensure the Mumbai Indians a sixth successive win.
Chennai won by 24 runs.
Image: Thilan Thushara of the Chennai Super Kings is congratulated by team mates