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Rediff.com  » Sports » South Australia stun Mumbai in thrilling finish

South Australia stun Mumbai in thrilling finish

Last updated on: September 15, 2010 00:26 IST

- Scorecard

Openers Daniel Harris and Michael Klinger hit half-centuries to help South Australia stun Mumbai Indians by five wickets in a thrilling finish in the Champions League Group B match in Durban, on Tuesday.

Harris hit a quickfire 56 from 37 balls, while captain Klinger scored 50 from 48 balls as South Africa made 182 for five in 19.3 overs to win with three deliveries to spare.

Harris and Klinger starred for the Australians with an opening stand of 112 in 13.3 overs, while Tom Cooper provided the finishing touches as he smashed 19 from just five balls to take his team home.

Lasith Malinga took two for 22 and Ali Murtaza claimed two for 29 as South Australia lost four wickets in the space of four overs. But the Australian side held their nerves in a thrilling finish to hand Mumbai their second loss in the tournament.

Earlier, having elected to bat, Mumbai's batsmen struggled to get going in the first few overs against the pacers on a lively pitch before Saurabh Tiwary and Kieron Pollard changed the script with a blazing 58-run partnership in four overs for the fifth wicket to take Mumbai to 180 for seven in their 20 overs.

Tiwary smashed 44 from 25 balls, with the help of a boundary and four sixes, while Pollard slammed 36 from 20 balls, hitting two fours and three sixes.

Earlier, Mumbai Indians' openers found it hard to get the runs against the new ball.

Shaun Tait nearly had a wicket in his first over when Shikhar Dhawan's pull shot fell just short of the fielder on the fine leg boundary in the first over.

But Dhawan fell in the next over for two when he edged behind an outgoing delivery from left-arm pacer Gary Putland to wicketkeeper Graham Manou.

Sachin Tendulkar looking eager to break the shackles after two quiet overs as he uppercut a short delivery from Shaun Tait over the slips for a boundary, in the third over.

The pitch was offering the pacers a lot of assistance as they got movement and bounce, while the Mumbai batsmen were struggling to get going.

Ambati Rayudu looked to attack right from the moment he came to the crease but he failed to hit the middle.

Meanwhile, Tendulkar went straight after new bowler Daniel Christian in his first over pulling him for a six followed by two boundaries to take Mumbai to 35 for one after five overs.

Tendulkar survived a close stumping chance against left-arm spinner Aaron O'Brien but fell a couple of deliveries later. The veteran batsman charged down the wicket but missed the ball and was bowled for a 17-ball 20.

Rayudu and Saurabh Tiwary played out a few quite overs before the former decided to cut loose. The right-hander swept O'Brien over midwicket for a four and then lofted one over the covers for a six.

However, in the next over he was dismissed by Cullen Bailey for 38 courtesy of a brilliant catch from Daniel Harris running in from long-off.

Kieron Pollard made his intentions clear right from the start as he carted the first ball he faced, from Bailey, straight down the ground for a six.

Christian suffered the same fate in the next over as Pollard lofted him over long-on to take Mumbai past the 100-run mark in the 14th over.

Tiwary then changed the script completely as he slammed three back to back sixes over the leg side and a boundary off O'Brien's final over.

Pacer Tait brought some cheer back to the Australian camp when he got Tiwary caught at mid-off after a brilliant innings of 44 from 25 balls.

But Pollard ensured that he kept the momentum going. He pulled a short delivery from Tait for a huge six over midwicket that disappeared out of the stadium.

Much to South Australia's relief, Pollard fell in the next over when he was caught at thirdman off Christian for a blistering 36.

Bravo tried to keep up the momentum as he hit the next two balls of the over for back to back boundary but was run out off the next as he attempted a tight second run.

Mumbai Indians slammed 121 runs in their last ten overs to finish on a huge 180 for seven in their 20 overs.

Mumbai's pacers, Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga, started brilliantly with the new ball as they pitched on the accurate line and length not offering the batsmen anything to hit.

Just one boundary was hit in the first three overs with just 11 runs coming as Mumbai's bowlers made full use of the helpful conditions.

Daniel Harris (7) got a lifeline when Tendulkar grassed an easy opportunity at square leg as the batsman top edged an intended pull shot.

As soon as spin was introduced in the form of Ali Murtaza, South Australia tried to break free. Harris and Klinger hit a six each through the leg side off the left-arm spinner to take the total to 42 after six overs.

Harbhajan Singh should have claimed a wicket with his very first delivery as Harris (18) chipped it on the leg side, but Tiwary messed up an easy chance at square leg, in the eighth over.

At the halfway stage, South Africa reached 69 for no loss before they decided to take on the bowlers. Klinger went after Bravo as he slammed him for two sixes, while Harris did the same to Pollard a couple of overs later to take the total to 111 after 13 overs, needing 70 from the last seven overs.

Murtaza brought Mumbai back with the wicket of Harris for a quick 56 from 37 balls (four boundaries and three sixes) in the 14th over. In the same over, wicketkeeper Rayudu dropped an edge to give Klinger a reprieve and register Mumbai's third dropped catch of the innings.

However, Klinger fell in the next over after having completed his fifty. The opener tried a big shot down the ground but failed to clear the fielder at long-on and was caught after a steady knock of 50 from 48 balls.

Graham Manou looked to attack the bowlers as he started with a six and four early in his innings but holed out a full toss to the deep square leg fielder to give Murtaza his second wicket.

Malinga also claimed his second wicket when he had Ferguson caught on the cover boundary as South Australia were reduced to 140 for four in 17 overs, needing 41 off the last three overs.

But the script once again changed dramatically as South Australia hit 15 runs in the 18th over from Bravo, leaving the equation at 25 needed from 12 balls.

Zaheer titled the balance in Mumbai's favour with the wicket of Christian, caught at long-on for 16, but once again South Australia kept fighting. Cameron Borgas hit Zaheer through thirdman for a four, his third of the innings, while Tom Cooper flicked a full delivery over fine leg for a six to make it 11 needed from the final over.

Cooper repeated the dose in Harbhajan's final over as he pulled him over midwicket for a maximum. The 23-year-old finished off the game in style when he drove a full toss through the leg side for a boundary to give his team victory.

South Australia reached 182 for five in 19.3 overs to win by five wickets for their second successive victory in the tournament.

The Australian side smashed 113 runs in 57 balls to steal an unlikely victory despite losing wickets at regular intervals towards the closing stages.

What was disappointing for Mumbai was that all their frontline bowlers are known names in international cricket, but they came undone against the never-say-die spirit of the Aussies.

The Mumbai Indians will need a miracle to progress to the semi-finals after losing their first two games, while South Australia will fancy their chances with minnows Guyana yet to come.