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Rediff.com  » Sports » Mumbai beat Bangalore by 16 runs

Mumbai beat Bangalore by 16 runs

By Rediff cricket
Last updated on: May 10, 2009 21:25 IST
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- Scorecard 

Mumbai Indians beat the Bangalore Royal Challengers by 16 runs in their Indian Premier League match at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, on Sunday.

Chasing 158 to win their second straight game against Mumbai, Bangalore could only muster 141 for seven.

The fact that none of their main batsmen could make a significant contribution, as well as the lack of any sizeable partnership, proved to be the bane of Bangalore's batting.

Mark Boucher was Bangalore's best batsman, some late hitting helping him remain unbeaten on 48 of 33 balls (1x4, 2x6) while Harbhajan Singh was Mumbai's best bowler, with figures of two for 15 of his four overs.

The win, Mumbai's fourth in 10 matches, moved them up one place to sixth while Bangalore, after their sixth defeat, dropped one spot (to seventh).

Earlier, a record 104-run partnership for the third wicket between Ajinkya Rahane and JP Duminy enabled Mumbai Indians post a competitive 157 for two.

The previous best third wicket partnership was 100, between Matthew Hayden and MS Dhoni for Chennai Super Kings against Kings XI Punjab in Centurion recently.

Rahane displayed the skills that have enabled him accumulate runs in a heap at the domestic level for the first time in the tournament making an unbeaten 62 of just 49 deliveries (4x4, 1x6) while Duminy was his belligerent self, remaining undefeated on 59 of 41 balls (2x4, 3x6).

The South African's knock enabled him to move up to third in the list for the Orange cap for the most runs by a batsman (with 297 runs).

In the first meeting between the teams in Johannesburg, Bangalore had won convincingly by nine wickets, after Mumbai had posted a similar total.

An encore, though expected, didn't actually happen.

Mumbai innings:

Bangalore captain Anil Kumble called incorrectly and to his amazement his Mumbai counterpart Sachin Tendulkar had no hesitation in opting to bat first -- the experts were of the opinion that it would pay to bat second.

So in stepped Tendulkar alongside Sanath Jayasuriya, the latter back in the side after being surprisingly dropped for the match against Delhi, which Mumbai subsequently lost.

The Sri Lankan signaled his good form with a boundary over cover of Jacques Kallis' third ball.

However, Tendulkar didn't survive long, falling in the second over of the innings. R Vinay Kumar produced a gem of a delivery that pitched outside off and moved away, kissing the outside edge of Tendulkar's bat, and Mark Boucher made no mistake behind the stumps.

The Mumbai captain has been in indifferent form of late, having scored just 63 runs in his last five innings going into the match -- he had aggregated 163 from his first three.

And his slump continued as he didn't open his account on Sunday.

Rahane and Jayasuriya put on 48 for the second wicket, with the Sri Lankan palpably being the more aggressive of the duo.

Jaysuriya had boundaries in successive overs from Kallis, Vinay Kumar and first change Abhimanyu Mithun; Rahane joined the party with a massive six over midwicket off the latter as Bangalore started feeling the pressure after failing to build on their early breakthrough.

However, just when the partnership was looking dangerous, Roelef van der Merwe struck, trapping Jayasuriya plumb in front of the wicket.

The Sri Lankan made 29 off 27 deliveries (4x4), but, more crucially, was dismissed at a time when his team would have wanted him to continue.

Mumbai cantered to 67 for two at the strategic time out.

They came back well to take nine runs off Kumble's first over after resumption, with Rahane finding the midwicket boundary.

However, the kind of acceleration that an innings requires in this format came from the 15th over onwards.

With Mumbai in desperate need for a boundary, JP Duminy smashed Mithun over the midwicket fence for a maximum.

The South African repeated the same treatment, this time to his compatriot van der Merwe in his next over, over the bowler's head.

And in Vinay Kumar's subsequent over, Duminy cleared the backward square leg fence for yet another maximum -- his third. 

The South African's rampage had ensured Mumbai score 33 in three overs.

Rahane, who was quietly witnessing Duminy go ballistic, completed his maiden half century in the tournament with a single to third man of Kumble and then stepped up the gear, slamming over cover to get what can be termed a perfect boundary.

Duminy completed his fourth half century of the tournament in the penultimate over, slamming Vinay Kumar past the covers for a boundary.

And 14 runs off Mithun's last over meant Mumbai had accumulated 65 runs in the last six overs.

Bangalore innings: 

Bangalore's reply started on a decent note, with 22 runs coming off the first three overs, but their innings was soon in disarray.

Jacques Kallis (12/10), who was looking good early on, was out before he could build on his start.

The South African, who made an unbeaten 69 during Bangalore's win over Mumbai at Centurion, cut a Bravo delivery that was too close to the stumps and Dhaval Kulkarni took a good catch at third man.

Bangalore were yet to recover from the opening shock when Robin Uthappa (4/5), another star of that win in Centurion, hit Kulkarni straight to Tendulkar at short midwicket.

Virat Kohli (20/22) tried to ease the pressure, hitting two boundaries in a Bravo over, one over mid on and the other over the midwicket. But Mumbai cut short his flight by introducing Chetanya Nanda.

The Delhi spinner, playing in his first match, struck with his third ball, having Kohli caught by Duminy at short midwicket.

And when Rahul Dravid (11/12) was run-out by a Malinga direct hit in the final over before the strategic time out, Bangalore's woes compounded.

They went into the break at 58 for four, seven short of the Mumbai total at that stage, and needing exactly 100 runs in the remaining 10 overs with just six wickets left.

Ross Taylor (16/16) hit a huge six over midwicket of Nanda but was cleaned up by Malinga yorker in the very next over.

Mark Boucher smashed Nanda for another maximum over midwicket, a hit that spoiled the spinner's figures to an extent.

But Harbhajan had van der Merwe (3/4) stumped by Takawale in the next over to make things worse for Bangalore.

Kumble's team was in dire straits at 92 for six after 14 overs, needing 66 of the final six overs.

R Vinay Kumar (7/12) survived for four overs before Harbhajan lured him out and Takawale clipped the bails off.

In the final two overs, Bangalore's requirement was a whopping 40 runs. And Boucher was waging a lone battle.  

They managed 23, with Malinga's final over going for 16, Boucher a six and a four apiece.

However, it was never going to be enough.

In the final analysis, Mumbai's win offered them a life line while Bangalore's defeat meant they have less time, and even lesser matches, to make a dash towards the last four. 

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