Kings XI Punjab
189-4 (Marsh 81, Pomersbach 79no) v
188 (Tendulkar 65, Yuvraj Singh 2-12)
Scorecard from Mumbai
Kings XI Punjab won by one run
By Pierce Morley-Barnes
The Kings XI Punjab fought back to beat the Mumbai Indians by just one run in the 45th match of the Indian Premier League in Mumbai. They made 189 for four before bowling the Mumbai side out for 188, for whom Sachin Tendulkar hit 65.
Tendulkar won the toss for the Mumbai Indians and elected to bowl, but struggled to contain a rampant Kings XI Punjab batting line up as Shaun Marsh and Luke Pomersbach smashed fifties to post 189 for four.
Immediately Tendulkar would have been pleased with his decision as Shaun Pollock produced a beautiful delivery that had Australian James Hopes caught behind first ball.
This brought the Western Australian pair together and they dominated the Mumbai Indians' bowling attack, as they found that the ground was not big enough for these two exciting young players.
Marsh blasted 81 off just 56 balls, including four big sixes as he continued his superb form in the Indian Premier League. Pomersbach hit an unbeaten 79 off 50 balls but struggled to make contact with the ball once Marsh had departed. It seemed that he was content on hitting the ball over mid wicket every ball and failed to do so as he was trying to hit the ball out of the ground instead of settling for a single.
After the early onslaught, the Mumbai Indians pulled back the game as they produced a flurry of late wickets as Yuvraj Singh (seven) and Mahela Jayawardene (one) felt the pressure from Pomersbach’s swinging to no avail.
Once again, Pollock was impressive, bowling a nagging line, cramping the batsman for room as he took one for 14 from three overs.
Youngster Siddharth Chitnis took a battering as he went for 40 off his four overs, but managed to pick up two wickets, Hopes and Yuvraj both caught deep on the boundary by Pollock and Dwayne Smith respectively
In reply, Sanath Jayasuriya and Tendulkar got the Mumbai Indians off to a speedy start. From the very first over, Jayasuriya showed his intentions and made Shanthakumaran Sreesanth struggle to find his line and length as he produced a wayward nine ball over.
Like we have seen so many times before, Jayasuriya fired two flicks off his legs that went into the stands for six as he cruised to a quickfire 20 before Sreesanth bowled a brilliant slower ball that totally deceived Jayasuriya.
With this first wicket down, Smith joined Tendulkar during his first game in the Indian Premier League and hit a cameo 20 as the Mumbai Indians maintained their run rate. Smith was then run out backing up by Yuvraj Singh, leaving the home side in a spot of bother at the Wankhede stadium.
Tendulkar didn’t let the run out bother him as he moved to a superb fifty in no time with an array of exquisite shots.
Finally Tendulkar (66) was on his way back, and so were the Mumbai fans hopes as he was brilliantly run out by Irfan Pathan as mustered up a direct hit when fetching the ball after his follow through.
Abishek Nayar produced some lusty blows to keep his side within reach of the total, but fell to Piyush Chawla for 27.
Moments later, Yuvraj Singh picked up two wickets in quick succession as he had Shaun Pollock (nought) and Robin Uthappa (nine) back in the dugout when Mumbai needed them at the crease.
With 19 required off the last over, VRV Singh bowled a no-ball on height which was guided for six in the third man region by Siddharth Chitnis. The very next ball was slapped over cover for a four, which could have been caught.
Calamity struck as Tanmay Srivastava produced a brilliant throw of the boundary to run out Chitnis (15) as the pendulum changed once again in this match. Three balls remained, with six runs needed, leaving Dilhara Fernando on strike in a game that he could become the hero after a poor bowling display.
The last ball saw Vikrant Yeligati hit the ball straight to cover with one run needed to tie the game, but Yuvraj Singh outran the young Mumbai batsman to the stumps and dived full length to secure his side the victory by just one run.
"The guys tried their level best," Tendulkar said. "We got so close so congratulations to my team and very well done to Yuvi's team for having won this game."
Yuvraj added: "That was a bit of a cliff hanger it could have gone anywhere. We bowled very badly but thankfully our batters put up a good total and kept taking wickets until we got the main wicket of Sachin. That just really changed the game for us and obviously my over came in handy, 19 runs off the last over - we should have won more easily."
© Cricket World 2008