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Mumbai Indians overcome Deccan Chargers on seaming Wankhede wicket
By IPL desk
Mumbai 30 April 2012
Mumbai Indians notched up their fifth victory of DLF IPL 2012 as they beat the Deccan Chargers on a seaming Wankhede track in what turned out to be a low-scoring contest. After bowling the Chargers out for a paltry 100 runs, MI got to the winning score, but not before they had lost five wickets during the run-chase.
The biggest surprise at the start of the game was that Kumar Sangakkara opted to drop himself from the Chargers’ playing XI. This was probably because of his sluggish form in the tournament. Cameron White, therefore, replaced him as the skipper when the two captains walked out for the toss. Harbhajan Singh, Mumbai Indians’ skipper, opted to field first upon winning the toss.
The visitors put on a good opening partnership given the context of the game. Parthiv Patel (19) and Shikhar Dhawan added 37 before the former was caught at mid-on off RP Singh’s bowling in the sixth over. That dismissal triggered a collapse for the Chargers as they lost Ishank Jaggi (2) and Cameron White (0) in the space of six deliveries to stumble to 44 for three in 8.1 overs.
Dhawan (29) was the next to go when he tried to give Harbhajan a charge down the wicket, but ended up getting stumped by Dinesh Karthik in the 12th over. James Franklin then picked up the next two wickets for the hosts as he accounted for both, Daniel Christian (5) and Bharat Chipli (1) in the 13th over. Ashish Reddy (10) spooned a catch to Rohit Sharma, who was running back from point. This gave Munaf Patel his only wicket of the match. And with Malinga dismissing the last three DC batsmen, including the last two off consecutive balls, the visitors were bowled out for 100 in 18.4 overs.
With the Wankhede wicket having enough juice in it for the quicker bowlers, the target wasn’t going to be an easy one. And when Dale Steyn knocked Richard Levi (0) over with the first delivery of the innings, the target only got stiffer. Steyn kept up the pressure by bowling some beautiful deliveries to Sharma. But with Sachin Tendulkar guiding his younger teammate, the pair was able to see out a difficult stretch with a second wicket stand of 31 runs.
Tendulkar (14) finally got out in the sixth over as he tried to slash a delivery from Veer Pratap Singh. He ended up offering a thick edge that went straight to Daniel Christian at slip. Dinesh Karthik (2) followed Tendulkar soon after as he edged a delivery from Steyn to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel. This left MI precariously placed at 45 for three in 8.3 overs.
Rohit Sharma, nevertheless, stuck around for the hosts and steered them past the troubled situation. Sharma added a valuable 30 runs for the fourth wicket with James Franklin. And with both, Veer Pratap Singh and Steyn having bowled out their quota by the 13th over, the visitors didn’t quite have any options left to unsettle the remainder of the MI batting line-up.
Sharma (42) eventually fell to JP Duminy while attempting a big shot only to be caught by Ishank Jaggi, while Franklin (13) was caught by Parthiv Patel off Ashish Reddy at the start of the 17th over. However, thanks to Ambati Rayudu, who scored an unbeaten 19 (off 15 balls) while batting at No. 6, the hosts scampered home with a five-wicket win. It took them 18.1 overs to reach the required target.
The win pushes the Mumbai Indians up to third place in the points table. The Deccan Chargers, meanwhile, continue to languish at the bottom of the league standings.
Delhi Daredevils clinch thrilling one-run win over Rajasthan Royals
By IPL desk
Mumbai 29 April 2012
The Delhi Daredevils truly lived up to their name, scripting an extraordinary one-run victory over the Rajasthan Royals at home. The hosts were never in the game for 38 overs. They scored a modest 152 and didn’t have the RR batsmen in any trouble for most part of the chase. But two last overs of thorough discipline and fire from Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav got them an unlikely win.
Morkel had the ball when the visitors required an easy 15 runs from 12 balls. He unleashed an array of fast yorkers to concede only three runs and pick up the all-important wicket of Brad Hodge off the last ball of the penultimate over. Yadav managed to defend the remaining 12 runs in the last over, thereby helping DD continue their dominance in the tournament.
RR’s chase of 153 began with the now-familiar elegance of the Dravid-Rahane duo. Such was the purity of the shots played that at times one forgot this was the high-octane, fast-scoring Twenty20 format. Rahul Dravid did what he is known for since the last 15 years – playing those copybook cover drives, back-foot punches, flicks and pulls.
Dravid’s innings was not short of drama. On one occasion he, very uncharacteristically gave a piece of his mind to Morne Morkel, who was on the way to his delivery stride. A few overs later, he pulled a muscle while completing a run and was down wincing in pain. Shortly after he got up and resumed the innings, there was confusion in the umpire’s mind on a caught behind appeal by Irfan Pathan; Dravid survived it. The end to his knock was no less dramatic as Ajit Agarkar plucked a stunner at long-on. Dravid departed for 40 off 38 balls.
Ajinkya Rahane brought out another gem from his bat to take the Orange Cap away from Virender Sehwag, who earned it in the first innings of the match. He once again, took a page out of his idol’s book and played some of the most beautiful shots en route to a half-century. In the process, he also became the first batsman in IPL 2012 to cross the 400-run mark.
The Royals needed early breakthroughs to prevent the Daredevils from running away with the game from the get-go. Ankeet Chavan and Pankaj Singh did just that by getting rid of Mahela Jayawardene and Kevin Pietersen inside first three overs.
Rahul Dravid thrust young Chavan to open the bowling and placed himself at first slip. The left-arm spinner responded by getting an edge of Pietersen’s bat, which went straight into the safe hands of his skipper. Jayawardene fell trying to play an uppish flick off Pankaj Singh, who also ended Ross Taylor’s scratchy knock of 25 off 35 balls.
What the RR bowlers couldn’t do, though, was prevent Sehwag from becoming the first batsman to score four consecutive half-centuries in the IPL. Sehwag continued with his new strategy of combining caution with aggression that took him to the top of the run-getters list in the tournament – until Rahane’s knock later in the game. However, Sehwag’s prolific form meant he could dispatch even decent balls to the fence without any risk.
The Indian opener unleashed some delicate flicks early on, before going in full attack mode. Against the left-arm spinner Chavan, he even employed the reverse-sweep – a shot he very rarely brings out. Brad Hogg, who is one of the stingiest bowlers in the tournament so far, wasn’t spared either. He was pulled and lofted straight for a four and a six.
Besides Sehwag (63 off 39 balls), the vaunted DD batting failed to click in unison. The rest of his team added only 89 runs off 81 balls. That figure too would’ve been worse had it not been for the last over bowled by Amit Singh, in which DD scored 20 runs.