IPL 2012: Mumbai Cling On To Beat Pune By One Run
Mumbai Indians 120-9 (Tendulkar 34) beat
Pune Warriors 119-6 (Manhas 42no) by one run
Indian Premier League 2012, Mumbai
The Mumbai Indians made Indian Premier League history by defending a score of 120 for nine to beat the Pune Warriors by one run in Pune.
No team has ever defended as low a total in Indian Premier League cricket in India and they did so as captain Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga both took two wickets.
Ashish Nehra and Bhuvneshwar Kumar had earlier also grabbed a brace of wickets but in a thrilling finish - yet another game that went down to the wire - it was Mumbai who held their nerve to win a game that many would have written off for them at various stages.
The victory consolidates their position of third in the table and puts them one point behind second-placed Kolkata Knight Riders but perhaps more pertinently, three points ahead of the side in fifth - Chennai Super Kings - as the battle for the play-off spots intensifies.
After they won the toss, the Mumbai Indians made a solid start with openers Sachin Tendulkar (34) and James Franklin (25) putting on 50 for the first wicket inside eight overs.
Even in Pune, every scoring stroke from Tendulkar recieved rapturous applause and he struck four boundaries before ghe was caught by Robin Uthappa off Ashish Nehra.
Franklin fell when he was caught by Mithun Manhas off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and thereafter Mumbai's innings imploded dramatically as they staggered to 93 for seven.
Rohit Sharma (3) was run out after Tendulkar sent him back and he was beaten by a direct hit by Steven Smith, who also effected the run out of Lasith Malinga (14) late on.
Robin Peterson (13) and Dinesh Karthik (18 not out) fought valiantly in the middle order but their chances of reaching a competitive score were rocked as Nehra, Kumar and Ashok Dinda (1-34) combined to remove Ambati Rayudu (1), Thissara Perera (0) and Harbhajan Singh (0) for a combined total of just one run.
Dinda started his set of four overs with a maiden and the Pune Warriors finished strongly as well, but not before Malinga had let fly with a couple of lusty blows to smash Mumbai past three figures, although they could not get much further.
An impressive spell frrom Kumar earned him figures of two for nine and Nehra finished with two for 19.
Early wickets were essential for Mumbai if they were to get anything out of the game and an early leading edge off Uthappa's bat fell just short of Munaf Patel. It was that sort of day for Mumbai.
He capitalised by hitting a glorious cover drive for four - as good as anything Tendulkar had managed - and then compounded Patel's misery by lofting him for six down the ground.
Patel won the battle, however, when he had his compatriot trapped in front for 18 in as many balls, bringing together Anitpodeans Jesse Ryder and Michael Clarke.
Clarke soon made his presence felt with two sweetly-timed boundaries but Ryder struggled and eventually succumbed when he chipped the ball in the air and was caught by Perera off Harbhajan for nine in 13 balls.
Harbhajan (2-18) struck again to have Clarke trapped in front for 14 and Smith was soon bowled by Pragyan Ojha for two as Mumbai's spinners heaped pressure on Pune's batsmen.
Leading the response was Mithun Manhas, who cut the spinners to pieces and almost single-handedly kept his side in the game as at the other end, Sourav Ganguly struggled for any kind of fluency or touch.
He laboured to 16 in 24 balls while Manhas stroked an unbeaten 42 in 34 balls with five fours.
A Lasith Malinga over full of quick yorkers heightened the pressure but Ganguly picked a good time to hit his first boundary, striking the Sri Lankan powerfully down the ground. Malinga then bowled two wides before the final ball of the 17th castled Ganguly to keep the game on a knife-edge with Pune requiring 27 to win in 18 balls.
Manhas cut Ojha for four, scurried singles with Wayne Parnell and then drove Ojha down the ground for another couple and Pune's energy was rewarded with ten runs, leaving them 16 to win from 11 balls, and Malinga to bowl the critical 19th over.
Parnell (2) missed the first ball and then toe-ended the second to Peterson at backward point and Mumbai were back in charge. Kumar then clipped a couple of runs into the on-side but was defeated by a slower ball that dribbled past his attempted drive. Advantage Mumbai.
A scrambled single to Patel at fine leg got Manhas back on strike for the final ball and he squirted it out for a single, leaving himself on strike charged with the task of scoring 12 to win in six balls, Malinga finishing with two for 25.
Patel delivered a dot ball first up and then a wide which had stopped bouncing by the time it reached Dinesh Karthik and when Manhas finally got bat on ball, he could only manage a single down the ground.
Another single to Kumar left Pune needing nine from three and then Manhas beat the infield but couldn't find the boundary but next ball Kumar did, over cover, leaving the Warriors requiring four to win from the final delivery.
Kumar managed two to deep midwicket as they closed just one run short.
© Cricket World 2012