Malinga Is Mumbai's Unlikely Hero

Malinga Is Mumbai's Unlikely Hero
Malinga Is Mumbai's Unlikely Hero
©REUTERS / Action Images

Mumbai Indians 159-7 (Malinga 37no) beat
Chennai Super Kings 158-4 (Hussey 81) by 3 wickets
Champions League Twenty20, Chennai

Lasith Malinga was a most unlikely hero as the Mumbai Indians pinched a three-wicket win from under the noses of reigning Champions League Twenty20 champions the Chennai Super Kings in both sides' opening game in Chennai.

Set 159 to win, Mumbai looked finished as they slipped to 106 for seven in the 16th over but Malinga's unbeaten 37 and Harbhajan Singh's 19 not out saw them over the line with a ball to spare.

Malinga hit three fours and three sixes in a whirlwind 18-ball innings that turned its match on the head while Harbhajan played his part by hitting two boundaries including his second which levelled the scores in the final over.

Mumbai had started their run chase strongly with openers Aiden Blizzard (28) and Davy Jacobs (18) blazing a trail before a brace of wickets apiece from Ravichandran Ashwin, Dwayne Bravo and Suresh Raina pegged them back.

However, back came Mumbai to lay down a marker and maintain the tournament's fast-paced start.

Michael Hussey had earlier seamlessly switched from playing Test cricket in Sri Lanka to Twenty20 cricket in India by hitting 81 in 57 balls to lay the foundations of Chennai's score of 158 for four.

He hit eight fours and three sixes before Mahendra Singh Dhoni's late cameo of 22 not out in 13 balls put the Super Kings in a strong position - albeit one they were unable to take the win.

© Cricket World 2011