Mumbai Indians 171-6 (Sharma 50) beat
Kings XI Punjab 169-3 (Hussey 68no) by 4 wickets
Indian Premier League 2012, Mohali
Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma fired Mumbai Indians to an improbable four-wicket win over the Kings XI Punjab at Mohali as another Indian Premier League 2012 match went down to the final over.
Mumbai’s first win in four attempts here lifted them to sixth in the table and left the Kings XI in eighth place still struggling to get a consistent run together.
Kings XI won the toss and elected to bat first. Nitin Saini and Mandeep Singh gave them a solid start, adding 35 runs for the first wicket. Mandeep was first out, in the sixth over, scoring 22 off 16 balls.
Saini made 17 off 22 balls and was out in the eighth over as in-form Shaun Marsh came out to bat. The hosts expected another miraculous innings from him this time, but he came up short.
James Franklin bowled only one over in the day and he scalped Marsh for 17 off 26 balls, dealing a big blow to Punjab’s hopes of a big total. The score at that time read 79 for three in the 13th over.
David Hussey and David Miller then came together, and put on a blistering 89-run partnership for the fourth wicket, off only 43 balls. They started slowly, biding their time and rotated the strike well. At the end of the 15th over, the score was only 100 for three and Mumbai seemed to be in control of the proceedings. But the barrage of runs came thereafter as the duo scored 68 in the last five overs.
Both of them were keen to hit sixes, sharing seven between them. Hussey made 68 off 40 balls, with four fours and an equal number of sixes. Miller scored 34 off 17 balls, with one four and three sixes. Both batsmen remained not out as Kings XI finished at 168 for three.
Mumbai began cautiously but Sachin Tendulkar and Franklin maintained a good enough pace to notch up the first 50 runs in the eighth over. Franklin was first out, for a run-a-ball 22 and Tendulkar was out in the 10th over, having made 34 off 29 balls, with four fours.
Dinesh Karthik was out soon after, reducing them to 66 for three in the 11th over. At that time, Kings XI were firmly back in the game as the chase seemed distant.
Sharma was joined by Kieron Pollard thereafter and it was seen as the last hope for Mumbai. But the West Indian big hitter was out for only three runs and his team seemed lost.
But Sharma kept them in the hunt with a well-timed half-century, scoring 50 off 30 balls, with three fours and as many sixes.
At the end of the 15th over, Mumbai were placed at 106 for four, just ahead of Kings XI at that stage, but they still faced a Herculean task of getting the last 63 runs off five overs.
Rayudu then stepped up to the plate, especially against Piyush Chawla in the 19th over. The leg spinner until then had bowled his three overs quite peacefully, for 19 runs. But he conceded, rather Robin Peterseon and Rayudu took 27 runs off his six balls and fired Mumbai into the game.
From then on it was a matter of time as only five runs were needed off the last over and Rayudu completed the formalities with one ball to spare.
© Cricket World 2012