Mumbai challenge beckons RCB

Mumbai challenge beckons RCB

Sachin Tendulkars men hold nerve in thriller to pack off Kolkata Knight Riders in eliminator

Mumbai challenge beckons RCB

The Sachin Tendulkar-led side, which had pulled off a last-ball heist over Kolkata Knight Riders last Sunday, survived another close contest here at the surprisingly thinly-attended Wankhede stadium on Wednesday night.

After restricting Knight Riders to a modest 147 for seven, Mumbai made heavy weather of an easy chase to register a four-wicket win and stay just one win away from booking their second IPL final in as many years.

Ryan ten Doeschate (70, 49b, 6x4, 3x6) had earlier played an innings of great character and purpose to propel Knight Riders to a respectable total after Mumbai had left them reeling at 20 for four by the sixth over. The effort, however, was always going to be inadequate but once Tendulkar (36, 28b, 6x4) and Aiden Blizzard (51, 30b, 7x4, 2x6) went on a boundary-hitting spree, the target appeared even more anaemic; but only so long as the duo lasted.

It was as though the two openers had a four-hitting contest going on between them and the Knight Riders’ bowlers bore heavy brunt. A whopping 62 runs came off the six Power Play overs killing the match then and there as a contest, or so one thought.

When Blizzard fell after raising a breezy 81 off just 47 balls, the mute response from KKR fielders said it all, while the needless dismissal of Rohit Sharma and Tendulkar, and the controversial decision of Ambati Rayudu appeared to be delaying only the inevitable. However, Mumbai, despite the rollicking start, began wilting at the first hint of pressure and it was only when Harbhajan Singh hoisted Shakib Al Hasan in the final over over mid-wicket fence that the nerves settled in hosts’ camp.

Contrary to reports that Gambhir would no longer take part in the event to tend to his shoulder injury, sustained during the last game against the same opponents in Kolkata, the left-hander walked in with Jacques Kallis and even insisted that he would take the first strike. The Delhiite’s intent of making a strong statement, however, came unstuck as he played a Harbhajan Singh off-spinner all over to lose his off-stump.

It was a crippling blow as Knight Riders had lost Jacques Kallis only in the previous over, Tendulkar bringing up an excellent catch off Munaf Patel at mid-off. Young Srivats Goswami, completely oblivious to the situation, attempted an extravagant shot only to glove Munaf behind the wicket. Soon Manoj Tiwary was gone playing Dhawal Kulkarni across the line and being adjudged leg-before by umpire Asad Rauf.

Down four with almost nothing to show, Kolkata were in deep when ten Doeschate and Yusuf Pathan set about the repair job. The early loss of wickets in a heap meant Kolkata couldn’t accelerate the scoring rate after being put into bat. After managing just 49 runs in the first half of the innings, the two began to chance their arms and runs came at a much faster clip. Ten Doeschate set the pace taking 15 runs off a Kieron Pollard over while an unconvincing Yusuf swung his bat around and collected runs through edges. The duo had raised 60 for the fifth wicket in 45 balls when man of the match Munaf struck to remove Yusuf on his return spell.

An enterprising Shakib Al Hasan (26, 16b, 4x4) helped add another 41 runs for the sixth wicket even as the Dutch continued to impress. While the rest of the KKR batsmen either struggled or took time to come to terms with the pace of the wicket, the right-hander appeared in control right from the word go. He was the only saving grace in an otherwise forgettable night for the Knights.


KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: Gautam Gambhir b Harbhajan 4 (8b, 1x4), Jacques Kallis c Tendulkar b Munaf Patel 7 (7b, 1x4), Srivats Goswami c Rayudu b Munaf 0 (3b), Manoj Tiwary lbw Kulkarni 4 (7b), Yusuf Pathan c Pollard b Munaf 26 (24b, 3x4), Ryan ten Doeschate (not out) 70 (49b, 6x4, 3x6), Shakib Al Hasan b Malinga 26 (16b, 4x4), Rajat Bhatia (run out) 2 (3b), Brett Lee (not out) 2 (3b). Extras (B-1, LB-1, W-4) 6. Total (for 7 wkts, 20 overs) 147.
Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Kallis), 2-13 (Gambhir), 3-15 (Goswami), 4-20 (Tiwary), 5-80 (Yusuf), 6-121 (Shakib), 7-131 (Bhatia).    
Bowling: Dhawal Kulkarni 4-0-32-1 (w-2), Munaf Patel 4-0-27-3, Harbhajan Singh 4-0-26-1 (w-1), Lasith Malinga 4-0-19-1 (w-1), James Franklin 1-0-10-0, Pollard 3-0-31-0.  
Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 19/3; 10: 49/4; 15: 102/5; End of innings: 147/7 in 20 overs. 
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 25/4. 

MUMBAI INDIANS: Aiden Blizzard c Abdulla b Lee 51 (30b, 7x4, 2x6), Sachin Tendulkar c Tiwary b Kallis 36 (28b, 6x4), Rohit Sharma (run out) 0 (0b), Ambati Rayudu c Goswami b Kallis 12 (16b, 2x4), James Franklin (not out) 29 (25b, 2x4), Kieron Pollard lbw Shakib 3 (5b), T Suman c Tiwary b Shakib 2 (7b), Harbhajan Singh (not out) 11 (5b, 1x4, 1x6). Extras (LB-3, W-1) 4. Total (for 6 wkts, 19.2 overs) 148.
Fall of wickets: 1-81 (Blizzard), 2-82 (Rohit), 3-92 (Tendulkar), 4-103 (Rayudu), 5-123 (Pollard), 6-133 (Suman).
Bowling: Brett Lee 4-0-37-1, Iqbal Abdulla 3-0-23-0, Yusuf Pathan 2-0-18-0, Shakib Al Hasan 3.2-0-24-2, Rajat Bhatia 1-0-9-0, Jacques Kallis 4-0-18-2 (w-1), Lakshmipathi Balaji 2-0-16-0.
Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 51/0; 10: 87/2; 15: 120/4; End of innings: 148/6 in 19.2 overs.  
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 62/0.


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