IPL History: 5 greatest matches between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings

Ayush Verma

Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni (Image courtesy: IPLT20/BCCI)

Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. Two teams with contrasting attributes and yet they are the two most successful franchises in IPL history.

One has always boasted of star-studded names in their squad as well the support staff. The other has not necessarily relied on big names every time, but arguably have the greatest finisher and captain of the modern generation at their disposal.

Many see a CSK vs MI match-up as the El Clásico of the IPL and it is called so for a reason. They have been at the forefront of some of the finest, jaw-dropping matches that the tournament has witnessed over the years.

Here is a walk down the memory lane to revisit 5 matches among them that stand out from the rest and prove why there has been no bigger rivalry in the IPL:

#5 The Pollard way: Chennai, 2013

Pollard was at his all-round best against CSK in 2013 (Image courtesy: IPLT20/BCCI)

Everyone remembers 2013 as the season when Mumbai won their first IPL trophy, giving Sachin Tendulkar the perfect farewell. They did beat Chennai in the final, however, before that, the two teams met in the nascent stages of the tournament at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Batting first, Mumbai were reeling at 83 for 6 after 12 overs when Kieron Pollard took centre stage and scripted a fine comeback along with Harbhajan Singh.

Pollard displayed great maturity and composure along with his usual brutal-self in scoring a 38-ball 57 to take MI to a fighting 148/6 in 20 overs. Chennai were expected to win this one rather comfortably, however, they made a mess out of it and were 66 for 5 in the 13th over.

But they still had MS Dhoni, who was at the peak of his powers and kept on waging a lone battle, bringing the equation down to 40 off 18.

Kieron Pollard disappeared for 17 in the 18th over, and Mitchell Johnson gave away 12 runs in the penultimate over. The match was suddenly tilting towards CSK with 11 needed off the final over and MSD still out in the middle.

Munaf Patel was out to bowl the final over and on the very first delivery, Dhoni played his trademark flick shot off a length ball. The ball seemed to sail over the mid-wicket boundary until Pollard again got into the act, grabbing a stunning catch at the edge of the boundary rope, to shock the home crowd and give Mumbai a 9-run victory.

#4 Hardik Pandya announces his arrival: Chennai, 2015

Hardik Pandya gave Pawan Negi the beating of his life (Image courtesy: IPLT20/BCCI)

The tournament was approaching its business end when the two teams met at the Chepauk stadium in 2015.

Chennai batted first and made a competitive 158/5 in 20 overs, riding on handy contributions from MS Dhoni and Pawan Negi. Dhoni finished on an unbeaten 39 from 32 deliveries and Pawan Negi showed glimpses of the talent he possessed by scoring a quickfire unbeaten 36 from just 17 deliveries.

Though the track was slow, it wasn't an intimidating total by any means. However, with Chennai having the likes of Ashwin, Jadeja and Negi in the spin department, it wasn't going to be an easy ride either.

Mumbai started the run chase with a bang. Their openers Parthiv Patel and Lendl Simmons looked in ominous touch and they raced to 84/0 at the end of 10 overs. The match was quickly slipping from Chennai's grasp, but Ashwin had other plans.

He sent both Parthiv and Simmons back in the 11th over and Kieron Pollard was run-out in the next over, leaving Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu to do the rebuilding job. A few tight overs meant that the equation was down to 34 from the last 3 overs.

Rohit departed on the first delivery of the 18th over, and most people expected Harbhajan Singh to come out next in the wake of the ever-raising asking rate. Rohit, however, while his way back to the dugout, signalled the rookie Hardik Pandya to come out.

Dhoni gave the 19th over to Pawan Negi, who turned from hero to villain in the space of just 6 deliveries, as Pandya dispatched him all over Chepauk to fetch 22 runs from the 19th over. The home crowd was in shock for what they had witnessed from a relatively unknown player.

In the end, Mumbai easily achieved the target with 4 balls to go, and a new star was born on that night. Within a year after this match, it became evident that the Indian team finally had a hard-hitting, fast-bowling all-rounder that they were desperately searching for since years.

#3 CSK survive Pollard scare: Mumbai, 2010

Chennai Super Kings

With an eye on their first IPL trophy, both teams locked horns in the final of the third edition. Mumbai had proved to be the team of the tournament with the help of a remarkable season for Sachin Tendulkar with the bat. New stars in Ambati Rayudu, Saurabh Tiwary and Kieron Pollard were unearthed through the course of the tournament, which made them the team to beat.

On the other hand, Chennai looked forward to putting behind the disappointment of the last-ball defeat they suffered at the hands of Rajasthan Royals in the final of the inaugural season.

Chennai batted first and after a slow start, recovered remarkably well through a blazing 35-ball unbeaten 57 by Suresh Raina and cameos from MS Dhoni and Albie Morkel, to reach a competitive 168/5 in their 20 overs. Mumbai were dealt a blow in the early stages of CSK's innings when their skipper and the Orange Cap holder Sachin Tendulkar split a webbing in his right hand while fielding.

Sachin did come out to bat, however, he didn't look at his best because of the injury, and laboured his way to a 45-ball 48. Mumbai made a host of questionable decisions throughout their innings, like sending Abhishek Nayar at Number 3, who could never get going, and Harbhajan Singh at Number 4, who just stayed for just 2 deliveries.

The asking rate kept on mounting and there was no sign of Kieron Pollard, who had been sensational throughout the tournament but was presumably being safeguarded from CSK's spinners on a relatively slow track.

However, the move backfired miserably on Mumbai because, by the time Pollard came out to bat at Number 8 (yes, you read that right!), the equation had become an improbable 55 from 18 balls. He got going immediately, plundering 22 runs from the 18th over bowled by Doug Bollinger.

However, some smart field placing by MS Dhoni ensured that Pollard departed in the penultimate over for a 10-ball 27, taking Mumbai's hopes with him, and giving CSK their maiden IPL triumph.

#2 'Champion' Bravo comes to the party: Mumbai, 2018

Bravo absolutely manhandled the MI bowling attack (Image courtesy: IPLT20/BCCI)

After a two-year exile, fans were waiting with bated breath for the return of Chennai Super Kings to the fold. That they were up against their arch-rivals in the very first match of IPL 2018 made it even more exciting. And the two teams certainly didn't disappoint the fans.

Mumbai batted first on an unusual slow deck at Wankhede and lost Rohit Sharma and Evin Lewis early. Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan rebuilt through an excellent partnership of 78 for the 3rd wicket, and Krunal Pandya hit some lusty blows en-route a quickfire 41 off 22 balls, to take Mumbai to 165/4 at the end of 20 overs.

Chennai dug a hole for themselves by losing 4 wickets inside the first half of their innings, while also losing Kedar Jadhav to a hamstring injury. They seemed to never recover from the blows and when the 8th wicket was down in the 17th over, they still needed 48 from 21 deliveries.

A hopping Kedar Jadhav scored the winning runs for CSK (Image courtesy: IPLT20/BCCI)

However, Dwayne Bravo launched a stunning assault on the MI bowlers, hitting a barrage of sixes to send the home crowd into a frenzy. Even Jasprit Bumrah went for 3 sixes in his final over and the equation was down to 7 off 7 in no time.

But there was another twist in the tale when Bravo went for the glory shot and was dismissed for 68, leaving many to ponder whether the game was over since CSK were 9 down with Jadhav injured. However, Jadhav showed great courage and came out to bat despite his injury.

In the final over of the match, he played three dot deliveries from Mustafizur and since he was not able to run or generate any power in his shots, he went for the scoop and hit a six over fine leg on the next ball to level the scores. With all the fielders in the circle for the final 2 deliveries, Jadhav found the gap through covers for a four and culminated one of the most dramatic IPL matches of all time.

#1 Snatching one from the jaws of defeat: Mumbai, 2012

Dwayne Smith produced a finish for the ages (Image courtesy: IPLT20/BCCI)

With a lot at stake in the points table, the two teams locked horns in the 49th match of the 2012 edition.

Batting first, Chennai rode on useful contributions from Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo and MS Dhoni to post a sub-par 173/8 in 20 overs.

Mumbai lost their first wicket early, but Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma counter-attacked in a 126-run partnership from just 81 balls for the 2nd wicket. It took a one-handed stunner from Faf du Plessis at extra cover to end Sachin's knock and MI collapsed dramatically after that, losing 6 more wickets in the next three overs.

It was eventually down to 14 required off 3 deliveries with Dwayne Smith on strike against Ben Hilfenhaus. Hilfenhaus bowled a low full toss which was dispatched over long-on for a six, and on the next delivery, another low full toss was hit down the ground for a four.

Feeling the pressure, Hilfenhaus missed his yorker again on the final ball, and Smith thumped it down the ground one more time for a four to hand the Mumbai Indians a victory out of nowhere. This match produced one of the greatest finishes in IPL history, and it also prompted MS Dhoni to say a famous statement at the post-match press conference:

"Not every bowler can bowl yorkers at the end."