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Sharma ton helps MI to 27-run win over KKR at Eden Gardens
By IPL desk
Mumbai 12 May 2012
The Mumbai Indians climbed up to the third spot in the IPL 2012 standings thanks to their 27-run win over the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens. Rohit Sharma’s brilliant century proved to be difference between the two sides as KKR succumbed to a disappointing home loss after a lengthy winning streak.
Requiring 183 to win, KKR needed a quick start. Gautam Gambhir (0) tried to begin in style, but only saw his middle stump being uprooted by a Munaf Patel delivery. Manvinder Bisla (1) was the next to go after top-edging a sweep off a Pragyan Ojha delivery. With two wickets down and just three runs on the board, KKR were in dire straits at the very start of their run-chase.
Manoj Tiwary (27) gave veteran batsman Jacques Kallis decent support in the middle, but his stint was cut short after he was adjudged lbw off a Kieron Pollard in-cutter. It was now up to Kallis and Yusuf Pathan (40*) to see their side home, with the former well-settled at the crease after making a half-century. MI’s bowling, which was led by Lasith Malinga, ensured that KKR never really got the momentum to break the shackles.
With 44 required off the last two overs, MI got their yorkers right and thwarted any chance of a KKR comeback. Kallis (79) perished in the last over as the Knight Riders fell 27 runs short of the MI score.
Earlier, Harbhajan Singh had no hesitation in electing to bat first after winning the toss. Herschelle Gibbs, who was playing in his first match this season, opened the MI innings with Sachin Tendulkar. The Eden Gardens wicket suited spin bowling and the Knight Riders duly began with the left-arm spin of Shakib Al Hasan. The Bangladeshi spinner couldn’t get the breakthrough in the first over, but he managed to get the big wicket of Sachin Tendulkar (2) in the third over. The MI opener was stumped thanks to some quick glovework by wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla.
Rohit Sharma joined Gibbs at the crease with a lot of pressure on his shoulders. However, the attacking duo got to the business of scoring with notable ease and they stroked the ball around to keep the scorecard ticking. Sharma looked comfortable from the start and showcased his array of attacking strokes to put the home side on the back foot. Both batsmen ensured that the pressure was firmly on KKR. Sharma smashed five sixes and twelve fours on his way to a 60-ball 109, while Gibbs played the supporting role. The South African, although subdued, scored 66* (off 58 balls) to put on a magnificent unbeaten 167-run partnership for the second wicket with Sharma. MI ended up with a commanding total of 182 for one in 20 overs. Scorecard
Man of the Match:Rohit Sharma for giving MI the edge with a sublime 60-ball 109* (12x4; 5x6)
Gayle-powered Royal Challengers beat Pune Warriors India by 35 runs
By IPL desk
Mumbai 12 May 2012
In a rain-delayed match, theRoyal Challengers Bangalorebeat the Pune Warriors India by 35 runs at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium here to stay in the hunt for a berth in the final four. Taking on a depleted PWI side, RCB set them a 174-run target, which proved to be too much for the hosts.
After PWI’s 22-year-old stand-in skipper, Steven Simth, opted to bowl first, debutant pacer Krishnakant Upadhyay – who took Ashish Nehra’s place in the playing XI – opened the bowling with Alfonso Thomas – who came in for Wayne Parnell. Although only three runs came off the first over, Chris Gayle cut loose in the third over and clobbered Upadhyay for sixes over extra-over and long-on. During his whirlwind 31-ball 57-run knock the Orange Cap holder cleared the fence six times and hit three fours. Gayle’s (57 off 31 balls) knock ended when he found Manish Pandey upon attempting to send Angelo Mathews over the ropes. At the end of the 80-run opening stand, Challengers’ captain, Virat Kohli, came to the crease, but returned after adding only nine runs. He was caught at short extra-cover by Smith off Rahul Sharma, who came into the side for Murali Kartik.
However, Tillakaratne Dilshan anchored the innings as he so often has. His 53-run innings ended in an unfortunate run-out at the non-striker’s end with Alfonso Thomas flicking the bails off in his follow-through after Saurabh Tiwary hit the ball back to the bowler. That brought out AB de Villers with just 16 deliveries left in the innings. With Tiwary remaining unbeaten on 36 and de Villiers on nine, RCB reached 173 in their 20 overs.
During PWI’s run-chase, Zaheer Khan struck in the first over, trapping Mohnish Mishra lbw. A ball later, the left-arm pacer uprooted Pandey’s off-stump. With two wickets gone with just four runs on the board, Robin Uthappa came out to join Michael Clarke in the middle. Couple of overs later the hosts suffered another big blow as the Australian skipper attempted to send Vinay Kumar over long-on only to be caught by Tiwary near the ropes. Uthappa and Anustup Majumdar then built a 50-run partnership, but a while later, veteran off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan had the former stumped for 38. And with the wicketkeeper batsman back in the hut, the hosts were four down for just 72; with 102 runs still to get, it was a difficult ask for them.
KP Appanna then followed up with the wicket of Mathews (4), and with half the side back in the dugout, Smith came to the crease. The home team kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were unable to build partnerships. Majumdar was the next to depart; a forward diving catch by Zaheer Khan off Harshal Patel in the short extra-cover region ended his valiant 31-run knock. In the next over, Muralitharan rattled Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s woodwork off his last delivery to finish with two scalps for 16 runs.
With the match virtually in their bag, Vinay Kumar yorked Thomas and then castled Rahul Sharma for a duck. With nine gone, Smith and Upadhyay ensured that the Warriors weren’t bowled out and remained unbeaten on 24 on 11 respectively. But due to this loss, PWI are now out of playoff contention.
Scorecard Man-of-the-Match: Chris Gayle for his blistering knock of 57 (3x4; 6x6) off 31 deliveries