Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mumbai Indians upstages Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings let slip its home record in bizarre fashion as tailenders Lasith Malinga (37 not out) and Harbhajan Singh (19 not out) starred with the bat in an unlikely three-wicket win for the beleaguered Mumbai Indians at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Saturday.
Batting first, Chennai made 158 for four and looked in complete control when Kieron Pollard departed in the 16th over, with Mumbai still requiring 53 off 28 balls with three wickets in hand, as Malinga joined his skipper.
What initially looked like a face-saving partnership soon turned ominous, as M.S. Dhoni did not have the bowling resources to counter the lusty lower-order hitters — he had bowled out his premier spinner R. Ashwin (two for 23) in the 14th over, and such was CSK's domination at that stage that the bowler ended his spell with a leg slip in place.
Pollard fell a few deliveries later, but Malinga powered two sixes off Shadab Jakati's final over before Dhoni missed a chance to stump the Sri Lankan off the last ball of the 17th over.
With Suresh Raina (two for six) being the only spin option left, Dhoni turned to Doug Bollinger and Albie Morkel, neither of whom could stop the flow of runs, as Malinga swung effectively, taking 20 runs in the next two overs.
First win
The equation came down to 11 runs from the final over bowled by Bollinger. However, a boundary apiece for Malinga and Harbhajan gave Mumbai the much-needed win. The duo added 53 in 4.3 overs to take MI to its first win at Chepauk in four attempts since 2008.
Batting first, a Michael Hussey (81, 57b, 8x4, 3x6) master-class, withsome help from Dhoni, took Super Kings to a competitive score.
Mumbai skipper Harbhajan righted a few wrongs from the past — Pollard came in with a good 11.3 overs (though the steady drip of wickets more or less forced the call) still to be bowled in the chase, and it put its best foot forward while bowling first — Harbhajan opened the attack with Malinga.
Mumbai had erred the last time it played here in attempting to keep Malinga and Harbhajan back, when Abu Nechim's first over to Chris Gayle went for 26 in the second qualifier of IPL 2011 against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
This time around, Malinga, who opened the bowling, sent down a fiery first spell, demolishing Murali Vijay's stumps, breaking Suresh Raina's bat and striking him on the body off successive deliveries. Harbhajan and Malinga sent down four of the six Power Play overs, going for just 16 runs and taking a wicket.
Changing gears
With Super Kings in survival mode, the first six overs saw 17 dot balls, but Hussey soon changed gears, driving and deflecting. In the company of Raina first and S. Badrinath later, the Australian nudged the run-rate northward. The next eight overs saw just 10 balls being wasted and when Dhoni joined Hussey in the 16th over, the final onslaught was well underway.
The four overs at the death went for 46 with Dhoni's cameo (22 n.o., 13b, 3x4) making up for Hussey's exit. The Harbhajan-Malinga combine couldn't stem the flow of runs, and their four overs in the latter half of the innings went for 45. However, they were to save their best for the last, with the bat.
The scores:
Chennai Super Kings: M. Hussey c Blizzard b Nechim 81 (57b, 8x4, 3x6), M. Vijay b Malinga 8 (10b), S. Raina st. Jacobs b Pollard 18 (17b, 2x4), S. Badrinath c Sathish b Nechim 16 (21b), M.S. Dhoni (not out) 22 (13b, 3x4), A. Morkel (not out) 2 (2b); Extras (lb-4, w-7): 11; Total (for four wkts. in 20 overs): 158.
Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-63, 3-111, 4-144,
Mumbai Indians bowling: Malinga 4-0-29-1, Harbhajan 4-0-32-0, Nechim 4-0-35-2, Symonds 2-0-16-0, Chahal 3-0-23-0, Pollard 3-0-19-1.
Mumbai Indians: D. Jacobs st. Dhoni b Ashwin 18 (15b, 3x4), A. Blizzard b Raina 28 (21b, 4x4, 1x6), T. Suman st. Dhoni b Raina 5 (7b), A. Rayudu c Dhoni b Bravo 5 (6b, 1x4), A. Symonds c Morkel b Bravo 3 (5b), K. Pollard c Dhoni b Morkel 22 (19b, 3x4), R. Sathish lbw b Ashwin 14 (8b, 1x4, 1x6), Harbhajan (not out) 19 (20b, 2x4), L. Malinga (not out) 37 (18b, 3x4, 3x6); Extras (b-2, lb-1, w-5): 8; Total (for seven wkts. in 19.5 overs): 159.


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