A team-effort helped Mumbai shellack a strong Bangalore side on Saturday.
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MUMBAI: In what was billed as a contest essentially between Mumbai Indians and Chris Gayle, team effort prevailed overwhelmingly over the individual pursuit, as the home side registered a massive 58-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.
It was an outcome engineered by the brilliant stroke-play of Man of the Match Dwayne Smith (50, 36b) and Kieron Pollard (34, 16b), along with effective bowling from medium-pacer Dhaval Kulkarni (3/19) and veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, whose two wickets included the dangerous Gayle's.
Dinesh Karthik, who had unwittingly run out his captain - the rather surly Rohit Sharma - in the first innings, contributed a brisk 43 and snapped up three dismissals behind the wicket, while left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson kept Gayle on a leash with his pace early on.
After Mumbai posted an imposing 194/7 batting first, Bangalore were steady till halfway into the sixth over, scoring at a run-a ball, all wickets intact, Chris Gayle being kept quiet by Johnson. Kulkarni’s introduction began the slide. The lanky seamer took out T. Dilshan (13), Virat Kohli (1) and AB de Villiers (2) in a inspired spell to leave the visitors reeling.
And when Gayle’s swirling top-edge to long-on, off Harbhajan, was taken by a watchful Ambati Rayudu at the long-on boundary, the writing was on the wall, for there was no coming back from 43/4 inside of the eighth over. A sky-high asking rate meant that the chase was never really on from that stage, as Bangalore changed tactic and spent the latter half trying to reduce the margin of victory, finishing on 136/7.
It was a commanding performance with the bat after Rohit Sharma sent his team in. Sachin Tendulkar came in with a mind of his own and delighted upfront with a slew of fours off Rampaul – four in one over – and had raced to 23 in ten balls when he was trapped ‘lbw’ by RP Singh, trying to dab one down the leg-side.
Smith took over. The West Indian got going with boundaries off the seamers. His assault reached a crescendo when 19, including a hair-raising six flattened over mid-wicket, came off a Vinay Kumar’s ninth over of the innings.
Soon after completing his 35-ball half-century, Smith trying to hoick left-arm spinner Syed Mohammad. Another unfortunate dismissal came about when Karthik left his skipper Rohit stranded by backing out of what would have surely been a tight second run.
This cleared the stage for Pollard, who dispatched Mohammad out of the park twice, before wading into RP Singh for a sucession of huge hits as 17 came from the 17th over, Mumbai approaching a monstrous score on 168/3.
But a cataclysmic 18th over followed that saw the hosts lose three wickets in as many deliveries. Consecutive direct hits from mid-off by Kohli got rid of Karthik and the new man Rayudu, while Pollard top-edged to third-man on the next ball to leave Mumbai in a less solid position than just a few minutes earlier.
Harbhajan threw his bat around at RP Singh, gaining precious hits to the fence, as Mumbai inched closer to the 200 mark, finishing six short, but still well ahead of what comprised a difficult total on their home ground.
Clinical Mumbai boss Bangalore
All-round show helps the hosts prevail over the Challengers by 58 runs.Yahoo! Cricket – Sat 27 Apr, 2013 7:17 PM IST
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