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Rediff.com  » Sports » Mumbai edge Punjab to consolidate top spot

Mumbai edge Punjab to consolidate top spot

Last updated on: March 31, 2010 00:28 IST

Scorecard

Mumbai Indians edged Kings XI Punjab by four wickets in their Indian Premier League match at the Brabourne Stadium on Tuesday to consolidate their position at the top of the table.

Chasing a modest 164 to win, the home team raced home with three balls to spare.

Shikar Dhawan (50) and Saurabh Tiwary with a quickfire 23-ball 31 were the major contributors in the Mumbai chase.

For Punjab, Ravi Bopara was the most successful bowler with figures of three for 31.

It was Mumbai Indians' sixth win, their fourth in succession, in seven matches this season - their only loss coming against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

It was also just their second win against the team from Mohali in five matches.

As regards Kings XI Punjab, it was their sixth loss in seven matches - their lone win came against Chennai Super Kings in a Super Over.

They remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

The Mumbai innings began on an emphatic note with Dhawan (50) hitting successive boundaries off Brett Lee's opening over, the first past midwicket and the second past short cover.

As Irfan Pathan was introduced in the third over, Dhawan greeted him with an exquisite square drive that dissected the cover and the extra cover fielders.

Sachin Tendulkar (11) joined the party by helping himself to a couple of bundaries off Shalabh Srivastava's second over, the first lofted over short fine-leg and the second flicked past short fine leg.

The latter shot helped the Master Blaster take possession of the Orange Cap - as the tournament's top scorer - for the first time from Jacques Kallis of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

However, the introduction of Piyush Chawla into the attack in the sixth over ensured Punjab their first wicket.

The leg-spinner had Tendulkar caught by Irfan at long-on.

As the field restrictions eased, Mumbai had made 45 for one.

But Vikramjeet Singh conceded 11 runs in the next over (his second), giving away a boundary each to Kieron Pollard (20) and Dhawan, to ease the pressure. 

As the first strategic timeout was taken, Mumbai were well on course for a win at 74 for one.

However, Kings XI came back from the break rejuvenated.

Irfan had Pollard caught by Bopara at long-on and two overs later, Shaun Marsh took a spectacular catch at long-off (off Bopara) to send back the dangerous-looking Dhawan.

Dhawan's 40-ball 50 was inclusive of six hits to the fence.

Thereafter, there were 32 balls sans a boundary before Tiwary (31) slog-swept Chawla for a huge six.

Heading into the second breather, the home team (after 15 overs) had made 118 for three.

Again the break worked wonders for Kings XI as Srivastava had Ambati Rayudu (9) caught by Yuvraj at point in just the fifth ball after resumption.

Dwayne Bravo (8) smashed Bopara over long-on for a huge six but the bowler had his revenge in the very next ball, taking a superb return catch to sent the West Indies player back to the pavilion.

Tiwary hit a couple of boundaries but perished to a brilliant catch at deep midwicket by Karan Goel (off Bopara).

However, R Sathish (17 not out) and Harbhajan Singh (1) ensured Mumbai reached home without any further loss.

Earlier, Shaun Marsh, playing in his first match this season, scored a resolute 57 to help Kings XI Punjab to a respectable total.

The visitors, after a tentative start, eventually managed 163 all out in their stipulated 20 overs.

The Australian, the winner of the Orange Cap in the inaugural edition with 623 runs from his blade, made a perfect comeback and held fort when wickets at the other end kept falling.

Marsh's 47-ball knock, his sixth IPL fifty, was inclusive of six hits to the fence and a huge one over it.

Lasith Malinga was the most successful bowler for Mumbai with figures of four for 22.

Mumbai Indians drew first blood when Zaheer Khan trapped Ravi Bopara (1) plumb in front in the second over.

However, Marsh punched the ball past the bowler - to the boundary - to ease the pressure.

Marsh continued his offensive with successive boundaries off Ryan McClaren in the third over.

However, the introduction of Lasith Malinga in the fifth over provided Mumbai with their second breakthrough, the Sri Lankan having Manvinder Bisla (11) caught by Zaheer had mid-off.

To their detriment there were no boundaries in the Punjab innings between the 20th ball (3.2 overs) and 48th ball (8 overs), when Mahela Jayawardene (20) managed to hit Dwayne Bravo for a boundary.

Marsh then smashed Kieron Pollard for a maximum over long-on in the next over.

As the teams haeded to their respective dugouts during the first strategic break, Kings XI had made a decent comeback to score 76 for two.

However, they suffered a double blow soon after resumption.

A lack of coordination in the 11th over resulted in Jayawardene's runout and in the next over, the team from Punjab lost the most vital cog in their wheel.

Yuvraj Singh (2), who has been in indifferent form so far this season, hit a Bravo delivery straight to Harbhajan Singh at short fine and the latter accepted the gift. 

However, Marsh soon completed his sixth IPL fifty with a couple of boundaries off Bravo.

Irfan Pathan (18) lofted Malinga over the extra cover for his first and only boundary but the bowler had his revenge in the next ball.

A spectacular catch by Harbhajan, running backwards from midwicket, ended Pathan's cameo.

And Malinga ensured Punjab suffered yet another double blow by cleaning up Marsh with a perfect yorker in the next ball.

Heading into the second strategic timeout, the visitors were tottering at 124 for six.

There was no respite for Punjab even after resumption.

Brett Lee (3) hit a Zaheer delievery straight to Pollard at deep midwicket.

Malinga returned to clean up Karan Goel (10 with another perfect yorker to pick up his fourth wicket.

The Sri Lankan was, however, unfortunate to miss out on a hattrick in the previous ball.

Zaheer cleaned up Vikramjeet Singh Malik (6) in the penultimate over but Piyush Chawla (22) hit a few lusty blows, including successive boundariesin McClaren's final over, towards the end to take the team to their eventual total.

Earlier, Mumbai Indians captain Sachin Tendulkar called correctly and invited Kings XI Punjab to bat first.

"We are going to bowl first as I feel there's a bit of dew and the ball would come to the bat better in the second innings," said Tendulkar, adding, "This looks a good track to bat on. And I don't see it changing much later in the day."

His Punjab counterpart remained unperturbed.

"I think that has been the pattern for them. But I am not disappointed as we also wanted to bat first," admitted Jayawardene, adding, "It look a good batting wicket."

Teams:

Kings XI Punjab: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Ravi Bopara, Shaun Marsh, Karan Goel, Yuvraj Singh, Manvinder Bisla, Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Vikramjeet Malik, Brett Lee, Shalabh Srivastava.

Mumbai Indians: Sachin Tendulkar (captain), Shikar Dhawan, Saurabh Tiwary, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, R Satish, Ryan McLaren, Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga.