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Smith, Tendulkar complete 10-wicket drubbing of RR in Jaipur
By IPL desk
Mumbai 20 May 2012
Prior to the last league match of IPL 2012, theRajasthan Royals had never lost a match in which they scored 160 or more while batting first. TheMumbai Indiansshattered that record by registering a thumping 10-wicket win at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. MI successfully chased the 163-run target with two overs to spare.
The game had very little but pride at stake as MI had already made it to the top four, while RR were already out of playoff contention. The visitors looked to go into the playoffs with momentum on their side and the hosts just wanted to end the season on a high note. In the end, it was the stronger team that prevailed.
In what came across as their attempt to use the most number of opening pairs in a single tournament, the Mumbai Indians came up with yet another opening combination – Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith. The two ended up with the best opening partnership of IPL 2012 as they piled on 163 runs. The Tendulkar-Smith duo lived an extremely charmed in the middle. They kept playing wrong shots in the air and the ball kept falling short of the fielders. To double up the frustration of RR bowlers, the fielders leaked some runs on the ground as well.
When Sidharth Trivedi finally got Smith caught in the deep, it turned out to be a no-ball. Tendulkar smacked the next delivery, a free-hit, for a six to bring up MI’s 100. As the two batsmen rode their luck to the fullest, the hosts could do very little apart from grinning and bearing it.
After playing some chancy shots in the beginning, both batsmen settled down nicely and began to hit the ball well. Tendulkar scored 58* off 51 balls with the help of six fours, while Smith finished with 87* off 54 deliveries. He hit 10 fours and three sixes. MI got home with 12 balls to spare and all 10 wickets in hand.
Earlier, Rahul Dravid had called it right at the toss and elected to bat first. MI’s Dhawal Kulkarni was playing his first game of IPL 2012 and he accounted for the most successful opening pair of the season. In his first over, he dismissed Rahul Dravid (5) with a short and side delivery was edged to the ‘keeper. In his third over, he got rid of the in-form Ajinkya Rahane (13) with another short ball.
MI’s captain, however, was not that effective. Harbhajan Singh was smacked for 30 runs off his first two overs. Stuart Binny was particularly harsh on the off-spinner, creaming him for three fours and two sixes. Finally, Binny ran himself out for 30 (off 17 balls), thus ending his dangerous 53-run (36 balls) partnership with Watson.
Watson carried on for a while, before Pollard got him caught in the deep, inducing a mistimed pull shot. The Australian departed for 45 off 36 balls with four fours and two hits over the fence. Owais Shah and Ashok Menaria got sedate 20s to take RR to 162 for six in their allotted 20 overs. Kulkarni finished with figures of 4-1-18-3, while Lasith Malinga and Kieron Pollard picked up a scalp each.
The Mumbai Indians will now take on the Chennai Super Kings in the playoff eliminator in Bengaluru on May 23, 2012.
DC beat RCB by nine runs to send CSK through to the playoffs
By IPL desk
Mumbai 20 May 2012
The Royal Challengers Bangalorechoked at a crucial juncture to gift the Chennai Super Kings the final playoff spot of IPL 2012. The Deccan Chargers beat the Bengaluru franchise by nine runs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium to register their fourth win of the season. Dale Steyn was the architect of RCB’s destruction as he led DC’s charge and ended up with figures of three for eight in his four overs.
Chasing 133 for the win, RCB’s Chris Gayle went on a rampage right from the first ball he faced. Manpreet Gony was smashed for 24 runs in the second over of the innings. But Steyn still had a few shocks left in his armoury. The pacer first softened Gayle (27 off 10 balls) with a bouncer and then got him to nick one back onto his stumps. Tillakaratne Dilshan (4) was the next to go, after he was caught plumb in front by Steyn. The two early wickets ensured that the momentum had shifted in the home side’s favour. RCB suffered a further blow after Saurabh Tiwary was forced to retire hurt after stretching his hamstring.
The Royal Challengers were finding it difficult to cope with the pressure, which reached a crescendo in the 10th over. Amit Mishra bowled a brilliant over in which he dismissed both AB de Villiers (4) and Mayank Agarwal (1). The quick wickets forced Tiwary to return to the field and continue his partnership with Kohli. The duo put on a 46-run stand to give RCB a glimmer of hope. But Kohli’s (42) aggression got the better of him after he smashed the ball straight down Gony’s throat off an Ashish Reddy delivery. Zaheer Khan (0) walked in at 103 for five, and couldn’t contribute to RCB’s cause. With 22 to win off 12 balls, Tiwary succumbed under the pressure to hole out after making 30. The pressure was too much to handle for the RCB tail as DC won the match by nine runs.
Earlier, Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to field first. This decision immediately paid dividends after Zaheer Khan sent Shikhar Dhawan (5) back to the dugout in the first over. Fellow opener Akshath Reddy (7) was sent packing in the fourth over after nicking it to de Villiers off a Vinay Kumar delivery. The Chargers made an all too familiar poor start to their innings and RCB made further inroads into the already brittle DC line-up. Prasanth Parameswaran got one to bounce awkwardly as Cameron White (1) could only scoop it to Mayank Agarwal. At 20 for three, skipper Kumar Sangakkara along with JP Duminy tried to steady the ship. But Sangakkara fell to a Muttiah Muralitharan delivery after making 15.
Parthiv Patel and Duminy continued the rebuilding process with some steady play. The left-handed duo put on an impressive 71-run partnership with Duminy (74) being the main aggressor. The South African’s innings eventually ended after he smashed a Zaheer Khan full toss straight to long-on. The Chargers eventually ended up with a modest total of 132 for seven. Scorecard Man-of-the-match:Dale Steyn for pegging back the RCB run-chase at regular intervals and clocking match-winning figures of 4-0-8-3