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Rediff.com  » Sports » Deccan's Ojha has Mumbai in a spin

Deccan's Ojha has Mumbai in a spin

By Rediff Cricket
Last updated on: April 25, 2009 20:47 IST
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Scorecard

A brilliant spell of spin bowling by Pragyan Ojha (4-0-21-3) enabled Deccan Chargers beat Mumbai Indians by 12 runs in an Indian Premier League match at Durban on Saturday.

The Hyderabad bowler took, amongst other, the crucial wickets of Sachin Tendulkar and JP Duminy, to play a starring role.

Chasing 169 to win, having restricted the Hyderabad team with an impressive fightback, Mumbai finished at 156 for seven.

Fidel Edwards (2 for 27) and RP Singh (also 2 for 27) played impressive supporting roles.

Deccan Chargers, after completing a hat-trick of wins, consolidated their place atop the table.

Mumbai remain with three points from three matches. 

Hyderabad innings:

Adam Gilchrist was fortunate in securing what is essentially the first vital element in a T20 game -- a toss win. Palpably, he had no hesitation in opting to bat considering the conditions at Kingsmead seemed ideal for the same.

The Deccan captain then began the onslaught, smashing Lasith Malinga's fifth ball (off the first over) over mid-on for the maximum.

He repeated the effort three overs later, this time of Zaheer Khan over third man, and interspersed in between were a couple of sweetly-timed boundaries, one each of either bowler.

Gibbs also displayed an aggressive intent, scoring at more than a-run-a-ball, and that forced Mumbai captain Sachin Tendulkar to introduce Harbhajan Singh as early as the sixth over (inside the Powerplay, i.e.).

The move backfired, the off-spinner's first over yielding 11 runs, that included a boundary each from the blade of both batsmen. And during the course of the over the 50-run partnership for the opening wicket was also achieved.

However, Mumbai got the much-needed breakthrough in the next over.

Gilchrist, having smashed Dwayne Bravo over wide mid-on for the maximum early on in the over, became a tad more aggressive, chased a wide delivery, got a faint edge and Pinah Shah made no mistake behind the stumps.

Deccan 63 for one.

Gilchrist made 35 off just 20 balls (3x4, 3x6) and gave his team the kind of start it expected from him.

Dwayne Smith, a replacement for Scott Styris, hit the first ball he faced (of Bravo) to sweeper-cover for a boundary.

The West Indies player then smashed Sanath Jaysuriya over midwicket boundary for the maximum and followed it up with a boundary to extra cover to ensure Deccan went into the 'strategic time-out' with their initial advantage intact.

For the record, they were 88 for one at the break.

There was no relief for Mumbai after the break as well.

Dhawal Kulkarni, the only substitute in the Mumbai squad (in place of Rohan Raje), went for 18 in his first over.

Jayasuriya went for 12 in the next but, more importantly, gave Mumbai their second breakthrough, slowing a delivery and Smith failing to read it.

Smith played a perfect cameo, 35 off just 22 balls (2x4, 2x6), his 61-run partnership with Gibbs helping the side consolidate the advantage.

The South African went on to complete a well deserved half-century in the next over with a single off Zaheer.

But Tendulkar's move to replace Jayasuriya with Bravo proved a masterstroke, the West Indies all-rounder making a double breakthrough.

Rohit Sharma (3/5), who has been so impressive so far in the tournament, failed to get going on Saturday and hit straight to Shikar Dhawan at extra cover.

A couple of balls later, VVS Laxman holed out to Abhishek Nayar at deep square leg even before he could open his account.

And in the next over, Bravo displayed his fielding ability in running out Gibbs, a lack of communication between the South African and his partner Venugopal Rao being a contributing factor.

Gibbs made 58 off just 44 balls (6x4, 2x6) and his dismissal left Deccan precariously placed at 142 for five after 16 overs.

Rao (9/10) was dropped by Tendulkar off Malinga in the fourth ball of the 18th over. But the Sri Lankan didn't let him enjoy his life, cleaning him up in the very next ball.

Harbhajan bowled an excellent penultimate over, giving away just six runs and har RP Singh (4/4) caught by Jayasuriya at cover.

And Malinga excelled in the last over, giving away just five, and getting the wickets of Fidel Edwards (1/3) and DB Ravi Teja (9/9) in the bargain.

Deccan wound up with 168 for nine, a disappointing total considering the kind of start they had got. But it also marked a remarkable comeback for Mumbai.

There were two crucial factors during the Mumbai's bowling. Firstly, Zaheer (4-0-32-0) was disappointing, and that is putting it mildly.

But, more importantly, most of their other key bowlers did well.

While Malinga (3 for 19) bowled fast and made the breakthroughs, Harbhajan (one for 27) bowled a tight spell and Bravo (3 for 34) managed to take vital wickets in the middle overs that kept their rivals in check.

Mumbai innings:

Having ceded their initial advantage to Mumbai, it was important for Deccan to get an early breakthrough and put the pressure back on their rivals.

And, to their credit, they succeeded, not in putting the pressure back but in getting an early wicket.

Mumbai, having made an uncharacteristic, sedate, start, lost Jayasuriya to the 10th ball, RP Singh getting him to top-edge one to Gilchrist. The Sri Lankan, looking out of sorts throughout his stay, managed just one of eight balls.

Tendulkar survived a huge appeal off the very next ball -- though replays confirmed the ball hit him outside the leg stump.

In the first 23 balls, Mumbai had scored just 17.

However, JP Duminy, promoted up the order, cut loose with the last ball of the fourth over, smashing RP Singh over square leg boundary for the maximum.

Tendulkar joined the party from the next ball.

The first three balls of first change Harmeet Singh went for two successive boundaries (both over covers) and a maximum (over long on).

The over, overall, cost Deccan 19 runs.

Tendulkar, with the help of Duminy, had ensured Deccan did not build on their early advantage.

Instead, it was Mumbai who began building on their 'super over.'

The 50-run mark was attained at the end of the sixth over (read in the Powerplay period).

And as Gilchrist turned to spin, Tendulkar greeted Pragyan Ojha with a huge six. And Duminy meted out the same treatment to Rohit Sharma.

Mumbai went into the 'strategic time-out' well-placed at 84 for one -- Deccan were 88 for one -- and having increased Deccan's cup of woes.

However, the team from Hyderabad came back recharged after the breather, getting the crucial wicket of Tendulkar with the fifth ball after the break.

The Mumbai captain, who almost gave Ojha a return catch on the first ball post the interval, hit straight to Gibbs at extra cover four balls later.

Tendulkar made an aggressive 36, off just 27 balls (3x4, 2x6), and his second-wicket partnership with Duminy yielding 82 runs.

However, he committed the same mistake that Gilchrist had committed during the Deccan innings -- giving his wicket away at a time when the team needed him to carry on.

Deccan sensed their chance and Ojha struck again in his next over, bowling a slower one and ensuring a hurried Shikar Dhawan (3/7) completely missed the slog sweep.

Mumbai were reduced to 96 for three after 13 overs, needing 73 off just seven.

Ojha added to their misery in his final over, enticing Duminy with a full toss, the latter only managing to hole out to Dwayne Smith in deep midwicket.

The South African made a quickfire 40-ball 47 (4x4, 2x6) but lost his wicket in trying to accelerate.

Abhishek Nayar, who played a blinder against Chennai, smashed the second ball he faced (from Venugopal Rao) over midwicket boundary for the maximum -- the first boundary in 35 balls.

However, with 50 required off the last four overs, the pressure was mounting with each passing minute, with each delivery bowled.

Nayar (10/6) fell in the next over, Edwards managing to get a thin edge of his blade and Gilchrist make no mistake.

Harbhajan came and hit twice to the midwicket -- one for a boundary (off Edwards) and another for maximum (off Venugopal Rao).

However, when Edwards trapped Bravo (21/18) plumb in front in the penultimate over, the pressure was back on Mumbai again. 

Their requirement was 22 runs off the final over.

Harbhajan (20/8) smashed RP Singh's second ball over long-off for the maximum but holed out to Smith at long on in the next ball to effectively end Mumbai's challenge.

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