Dwayne Smith bats Mumbai to big win

CLT20: Mumbai Indians beat Lions by seven wickets in must-win game.

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JAIPUR: Forget the match. But that other thing did not happen tonight. That other thing you thought everybody but you had lost track of. Well, it didn’t come to pass, the grand fifty-thousandth run from the bat of the grandest batsman ever.

What did happen was that Sachin Tendulkar scored five ill-at-ease runs off eight deliveries before left-arm fast bowler Sohail Tanvir demolished his stumps, marking the beginning of yet another wait until his next game, his next landmark.

As is the case these days, Tendulkar’s dismissal did not prove fatal to the team’s cause. Mumbai chased down Highveld Lions' 140 handsomely, with nine balls to spare, and kept themselves in the hunt for a place in the knockout stage.

Dwayne Smith was the enforcer with a typically Carribean 63 (47b, 4x4, 3x6) and such was his form that even periodic losses – of Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma – did little to derail the chase. Helped by Kieron Pollard’s sizzling 20-ball 31 (20b, 2x4, 3x6), Smith reeled in the target in a hurry, and the final formalities were completed in the 19th over.

Earlier, Alviro Petersen (35, 27b) and Dwaine Pretorious (31, 21b) added 59 in 6.4 overs for the sixth wicket to take Lions to 140 after Rohit elected to field. Fifty-one runs came in the last five overs as Mumbai struggled to stem the flow in the later stages.

Harbhajan shines


Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Coulter-Nile proved tough to counter on a surface with an overbearingly green hue and Harbhajan Singh (4-0-19-1) came up with an outstanding spell. Most of the Lions got starts, but a wicket fell each time a partnership was just about flowering.  

Opener Rassie van der Dussen impressed with an array of strokes before he pulled Johnson to mid-wicket; Quinton de Kock’s fluid stay was terminated when he failed to read a Harbhajan delivery that went the other way, and was trapped leg before.

Medium pacer Rishi Dhawan sent in a tidy four-over spell, giving away just 21, and also bowled Neil McKenzie with a beauty. There was more success for Mumbai as Pragyan Ojha picked up Jean Symes and Sohail Tanvir in quick time, before the only stand of note was allowed to flourish, one that saw two towering sixes hit off the left-arm spinner.

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