Sublime Sachin powers Indians

Maestros 48-ball 71 seals a seven-wicket win for Mumbai over Knight Riders

Sublime Sachin powers Indians

Sachin Tendulkar essays a hook against Kolkata in Mumbai on Monday. APCaptain Tendulkar, who struck an unbeaten 48-ball 71, tore apart the Knight Riders bowling attack with a superb exhibition of strokeplay to notch up his second IPL III half-century in front of a packed crowd at the Brabourne Stadium.

He was given good support by opener Shikhar Dhawan (23 in 21 balls) and one-down Saurabh Tiwary, who made a quick-fire 30 in 24 balls with three fours and a six, as Mumbai Indians romped home with nine balls to spare chasing 156.

Earlier, Chris Gayle’s stroke-filled 60-ball 75 in his first IPL III appearance powered Kolkata Knight Riders to a competitive 155 for three after the visitors elected to bat. Tendulkar, who hit 10 fours for his fifth IPL half-century, was particularly severe on speedster Ishant Sharma whom he hooked and pulled with disdain for the majority of his boundaries.

Tendulkar and Dhawan, playing his first match, put on 61 runs in 6.5 overs to give the MI innings a flying start, and 56 for the second wicket with Tiwary. Tendulkar, whose previous half-century (63) helped MI to beat Delhi Daredevils in their second tie, later forged an unfinished stand of 27 with Rajagopal Satish (21 not out in 11 balls) for the fourth wicket to take the home team past the finish line in 18.3 overs.

With the win, their third in four matches, Mumbai Indians joined Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers at the IPL III table with six points. However, the Indians lead the table due to better net run-rate. Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, slupmed to their third loss on the trot after winning their first two matches in IPL III. Mumbai rocketed off to a brilliant start in their run-chase with Dhawan setting the tone in the first over before Tendulkar took over the reins from his junior partner.

Dhawan, included in the after MI dropped out-of-touch veteran Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya, struck New Zealand speedster Shane Bond for three fours in the first over. Tendulkar, who watched his team-mate from the other end in appreciation, followed suit immediately by carving Ishant for three fours, the first two shots passing the bowler on his on either side and the last a superb cover drive.

With 24 runs coming in first two overs, KKR skipper Sourav Ganguly turned his attention to Gayle’s fast off-breaks and the West Indian applied the brakes in third over. But another poor over by Ishant, coupled with a misfiled due to bad bounce from the practice wicket, was taken full advantage by Tendulkar who struck the India pacer for three more fours -– a cover drive, followed by a hook and a ferocious pull.

Score Board

KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: Chris Gayle lbw Zaheer 75; Saurav Ganguly b Harbhajan 31; Owais Shah bZaheer 31; Angelo Mathews (not out) 3; Extras (B-6, LB-3, W-6) 15; Total (3 wkts; 20 overs) 155
Fall of wickets: 1-70, 2-152, 3-155.
Bowling: Lasith Malinga 4-0-28-0, Zaheer Khan 4-0-27-2, Ryan McLaren 4-0-38-0, Dwayne Bravo 4-0-36-0, Harbhajan Singh 4-0-17-1.

MUMBAI INDIANS: Shikhar Dhawan c Ganguly b Kartik 23; Sachin Tendulkar (not out) 71; Saurabh Tiwary c Ganguly b Sharma 30;  Kieron Pollard  lbw Sharma  7; Rajagopal Sathish (not out) 21; Extras (W-4); Total (3 wickets; 18.3 overs) 156
Fall of wickets: 1-61, 2-117, 3-129.
Bowling: Bond 3-0-31-0, Ishant 4-0-44-2, Gayle 4-0-31-0, Kartik 4-0-21-1, Angelo Mathews 3.3-0-29-0. 

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