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Duminy demolishes Kolkata

By Harish Kotian
Last updated on: May 01, 2009 20:48 IST
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J P Duminy arrived for the Indian Premier League with a reputation following recent exploits for South Africa. Thus far, he certainly has lived up to it.

Mumbai were heading towards disaster before he came up with a match-winning 52 off 37 deliveries (1 boundary, 4 sixes) that, in the end, proved instrumental in a nine-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in East London, on Friday.

Brad Hodge led Knight Riders' reply with 73 from 60 deliveries, including five boundaries and three sixes, but his dismissal saw their challenge fizzle out. They ended up with just 139 for six in their 20 overs in response to Mumbai's 148 for six.

Zaheer Khan claimed three for 31 in four overs, but it was Lasith Malinga -- wicketless for 23 runs in four overs -- who kept the Kolkata batsmen in check with some tight bowling in the final overs.

Mumbai innings

Electing to bat, Mumbai went in for a couple of changes, bringing in England all-rounder Graham Napier and Ajinkya Rahane in place of Dwayne Bravo and Shikhar Dhawan respectively.

Kolkata again left out Mashrafe Mortaza and went in with the same team that was beaten by Bangalore Royal Challengers in their last match.

In their previous match against Kolkata Knight Riders, the two Mumbai openers, Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya, went after the opening bowlers right from the start. But on a slow pitch in East London, it was not easy to take on the bowlers from the outset.

In the second over, Jayasuriya smashed the first delivery from Ashok Dinda over mid-off for a boundary as Kolkata did well to keep things quiet. But the Sri Lanka batsman's patience ran thin. The veteran left-hander stepped down the wicket and gave himself a bit of room, but Dina adjusted well by dropping it a bit short and getting the edge to the wicketkeeper. Jayasuriya was gone for six off eight deliveries, inclusive of a boundary (19-1, 3.2).

Mumbai decided to send Harbhajan Singh as a pinch-hitter to take advantage of the first six overs. Meanwhile, Tendulkar needed no second invitation when Murali Kartik was introduced in the sixth over. He took on the first delivery from the left-arm spinner and carted him straight down the ground for the first six of the match.

However, Harbhajan struggled to get going and gave his wicket away tamely. He danced down the wicket and chipped Kartik straight to Dinda at the midwicket boundary after scoring six from seven deliveries. (40-2, 5.5)

Surprisingly, Abhishek Nayar was sent ahead of the in-form J P Duminy.

Ajit Agarkar was shown no mercy by Mumbai colleague Tendulkar. The veteran batsman charged the pacer and smashed him over the covers for a huge six and followed it up with a boundary through the same region.

However, it was Agarkar who had the last laugh when he claimed the master batsman's wicket for 34. Tendulkar, who hit three boundaries and two sixes in his 30-ball knock, tried to have another go through the off-side but hit straight to McCullum in the cover region. (54-3, 7.5)

It was strange to see Kolkata use as many seven bowlers for the first ten overs, though they managed to keep things under control as Mumbai reached 61 for three at the halfway stage.

Nayar then tried to force the issue when he stepped down the track and smashed Hodge for a boundary straight down the ground. But Hodge bounced back two deliveries later with the wicket of Nayar, who played all over a straight delivery and was bowled for 10 off 13 deliveries. (71-4, 11.4)

The spinners were proving a bit hard to get away, with the pitch getting slower and slower. Part-timers Chris Gayle and Brad Hodge bowled four overs, conceding just 19 runs, the latter getting the wicket of Nayar.

In fact, immediately after Tendulkar's wicket Kolkata kept piling on the pressure with some disciplined bowling. Only 34 runs came from the next seven overs after Tendulkar fell, as Mumbai reached 88 for four in 15 overs.

Debutant Graham Napier faced the tough task of trying to salvage the situation. The England all-rounder, without doubt, has the talent to change a match within a few overs as was proved last year when he smashed 152 for Essex, including a world record 16 sixes in a Twenty20 match against Sussex.

Gayle was unlucky not to have picked up Napier's wicket in the 14th over when McCullum at midwicket dropped an easy offering. Napier, on 6, tried to flick Gayle through the leg-side but captain McCullum's horror run continued as he put down one of the easiest of catches.

Napier broke the shackles somewhat when he smashed a boundary, the first after 27 deliveries, hitting Gayle through midwicket. But he fell off the next delivery for 15 (16 deliveries) when he tried a similar shot but was deceived by Gayle's quicker one and holed out to McCullum at mid-on. (96-5, 15.5)

The big hits were hard to come by even late in the innings. Duminy stepped down the wicket to Kartik and slammed him through midwicket for his first boundary in 24 deliveries.

The South African left-hander brought some cheer to the Mumbai dressing room with a couple of sixes off Shukla. The bowler dropped it a bit short on a couple of occasions and Duminy was quick to despatch both those half-trackers into the square leg fence.

Ajinkya Rahane did not waste much time in getting started as he guided a full toss from Ishant through point for a boundary. He fell in the same over when he was caught at fine leg for 10 off eight deliveries as he walked across his stumps and attempted a fine paddle sweep. (131-6, 18.5)

Duminy bagged his third six of the innings when he smashed Dinda straight down the ground. He followed it up with another huge straight one off the final delivery to bring up his half-century.

It took him just 37 deliveries to reach the landmark, and included one boundary and four sixes to take Mumbai to a healthy 148 for six in their 20 overs.

Duminy single-handedly changed the course of the innings with his late hitting as Mumbai amassed 60 runs in the last five overs.

As many as seven bowlers were used, Gayle producing the best figures of one for 21 in four overs, while Ishant took one for 24 in four overs.

Kolkata innings

Kolkata's opening woes continued despite a change of personnel. Sourav Ganguly replaced the out-of-sorts Brendon McCullum as opener but still the nightmare continued.

The former India captain fell in the first over itself, bowled by Zaheer. The left-hander reached out to a wide delivery, got an inside edge that crashed onto his stumps and was out for a golden duck. (1-1, 0.4)

It seems strange that despite having three openers (Ganguly, Gayle and McCullum), who have the experience of opening the batting in limited-overs cricket, Kolkata's problems persist. In four of the five completed matches they played in the tournament, at least one of the openers has fallen for a single figure score and each time it was McCullum. On Friday, even his replacement failed.

Mumbai also went for a change in their opening bowling combination, Graham Napier being used ahead of the dangerous Malinga.

Chris Gayle's last innings for Kolkata in the second edition of the IPL was short. The West Indies batsman, who will return for country duty against England, was bowled off an inside edge trying to force Zaheer through the off-side. He scored seven off as many deliveries. (8-2, 2.2)

Mumbai also did a Kolkata, using four bowlers for the first five overs, after which Kolkata were bogged down on 21 for two.

Hodge survived a close run-out call in the sixth over before stepping down the wicket to launch Harbhajan straight down the ground for a boundary. He followed it up with another huge hit straight down the ground, slamming Jayasuriya for a six.

The Aussie enjoyed another slice of luck when Nayar dropped a sharp catch off his own bowling as the batsman tried another straight hit. He then bagged his second six when he thrashed Napier straight down the ground as Kolkata recovered somewhat after the slow start.

At the halfway stage, Kolkata were 59 for two in 10 overs and faced with a stiff task of scoring another 90 runs in the last ten.

Morne van Wyk and Hodge showed great purpose after the break, looking to score off every delivery. They garnered 39 off the first four overs after the strategic time-out. The two batsmen tried to take on Harbhajan, scoring a boundary each in his two overs as the off-spinner finished wicketless for 24 runs in four overs.

Hodge hit consecutive boundaries off Napier in the 15th over to bring up his half-century off 44 deliveries, inclusive of two boundaries and two sixes.

But Duminy's brilliance in the field saw Kolkata lose their third wicket, which tilted the scales a bit in Mumbai's favour. Van Wyk, who made 33 from 35 deliveries (three boundaries), tried to smash Napier down the ground but did not get it off the middle and was caught by Duminy running forward at long-on.

He added 89 runs in 12.3 overs for the third wicket with Hodge and gave Kolkata a semblance of a chance in this do-or-die-contest. (97-3, 14.5)

Kolkata were 98 for three after 15 overs, needing 51 off the last five.

Interestingly, they needed to be wary of the 16th over which has proved a jinx for the batting side in the tournament. Before this match, 21 wickets had fallen in the 16th over and the second best was the 11th over in which 17 had fallen.

But it was Kolkata who profited from the 16th. They smashed 13 off Zaheer, including a six by Hodge from a free hit. However, Malinga's full length swinging deliveries ensured that things were kept tight as only seven runs came in the 17th, leaving Kolkata to get 31 from the last three overs.

Zaheer, however, made up for an erratic display in his previous over by claiming the wicket of Laxmi Ratan Shukla for 6. The Kolkata all-rounder tried to slash a straight full toss from Zaheer but failed to connect and the off-stump was sent cartwheeling. (119-4, 17.2)

Hodge crashed Zaheer over the point region for a boundary in the 18th over, leaving his team to get 23 from the last 12 deliveries.

Malinga continued to torment them with yorkers in the penultimate over and the pressure paid off.

Hodge, who top-scored with 73 from 60 deliveries (five boundaries and three sixes), went for a tight second run but was caught short after a brilliant throw from Duminy at the striker's end. (130-5, 19)

With 20 needed from the final over it seemed an impossible task despite McCullum being in the middle. The Kolkata captain's horror run with the bat continued when he lofted Nayar straight to the cover fielder and was dismissed for 5. (132-6, 19.3)

Kolkata finished on 139 for six in their 20 overs and lost by 9 runs.

They have now been consigned to the bottom of the table, with just one victory in seven matches, while Mumbai Indians jumped to third place with seven points from six matches.

Zaheer was the most successful bowler, claiming three for 31 in four overs, but it was Malinga who turned it Mumbai's way with tight bowling at the death. He finished with 23 runs from his four overs.

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Harish Kotian

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