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On a day when the Mumbai Indians were giving their home fans a treat scoring runs at will, their opponents Pune Warriors India found the going tough chasing a target of 184 at the Wankhede stadium on Saturday.
The only bright spot from the Pune Warriors’ innings was that of Mitchell Marsh who picked up a wicket and scored a 26 ball 38 that included two boundaries and two sixes. Marsh, who spoke exclusively to IPLT20.com after the game, said it was always going to be tough to score that many runs especially after losing wickets in a hurry early on in the innings.
“I think it was a bit hard chasing on that wicket,” Marsh said. “The Mumbai Indians did a great job to take their total to 183, courtesy a great innings by Rohit Sharma and I believe 180 plus was a par score on that wicket. MI bowled very well up front and took early wickets and it was always tough for us to comeback from there.”
The Pune Warriors had lost half their side with just 71 runs on the board and it required a late flurry of shots from Marsh to take the Pune Warriors to a total of 142 at the end of twenty overs, falling short of the target by 42 runs. Marsh believed they still had hopes of a win midway through the innings.
“I just wanted to get my eye in and towards the end of the innings was trying to hit the ball as hard as I could. But unfortunately it did not come off. Had we got one more good over, we could have been back in the game.”
The game might not have gone Pune Warriors’ way, but Marsh said it was good to watch his Australian mate Mitchell Johnson bowl so well. “Johnson is a world class bowler. I thought he would bowl a few more bouncers, but it was good to see Johnson get those two early wickets for his side. That definitely gave the Mumbai Indians an early advantage.”
Pune Warriors had come into the game with a good win at home against the Rajasthan Royals, but with the loss against the Mumbai Indians, Pune have their backs against the wall. Marsh was confident though of his team’s fortunes.
“First things first, it is a long tournament. We are four games old in the tournament and we have a lot more games to come. I do not think there is any reason for us to panic, we have got a very good side with us and we just need to get a few wins under our belt and then take on the momentum from there.”
When asked if it was tough for him to come here and perform in Indian conditions, Marsh responded, “We have got a good support staff that work with us round the clock and get us used to playing pace and spin at the nets. We come here so often these days that it is becoming a lot easier, and we are getting used to the conditions.”
Up next the Pune Warriors face the mighty Chennai Super Kings at home. Marsh was looking forward to the challenge. “We face CSK on Monday, it will be a tough challenge for us there, but every team is beatable in the IPL. We will go there with full confidence and hope to get a win.”
It was a visual delight till it lasted; something that the thousands, who had flocked the Wankhede stadium, on a sunny Saturday evening, felt blessed to have witnessed. The master blaster in full flow. The stands wore a sea of blue as they were brought to their feet by their very own local hero who played like a man in ‘some’ mood for the 29 deliveries he faced. After his departure, the responsibility was yet again on the young duo of Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma.
While Rohit Sharma went on to make a match winning half century, on the other side was Mumbai Indians’ new Mr.Dependable: Dinesh Karthik who went about scoring his runs with ease, yet again notching up a 29 ball 41. His previous three scores read: 86, 37 and 60. With 224 runs in four games and leading the run charts for the Mumbai Indians, Karthik seemed to have hit a purple patch.
“I have been saying this from the start of the tournament that the key for me is to be consistent and help Mumbai Indians win games. If I can keep doing that, I will be very happy.” Karthik said, as he spoke exclusively to IPLT20.com after the match.
Karthik sure is enjoying his stint with the Mumbai Indians. May it be playing alongside the players he has admired as a kid or living up to the expectations of the team management. “I just like the fact that John Wright and Anil Kumble trusted me and sent me at number three. I felt that I had to deliver for them and wanted to give it my best.”
When Karthik walked in to bat against the Pune Warriors India on Saturday, MI had already lost their captain Ricky Ponting. Six runs later they lost Sachin Tendulkar and yet again it was the Karthik-Sharma duo that got the Mumbai Indians sailing with a half century stand. For Karthik the mantra was simple. “Just have a look at the situation and play according to the situation; that is the key. You have to be relaxed. It is normal for you to go through a lot of things as a player, but when you get into the middle you just have to try and concentrate every ball,” said Karthik.
The Mumbai Indians put up 183 runs on the board, but Karthik said, the team was in no mood to take the Pune Warriors India lightly.“We were happy that we got that many runs on the board, but we knew they had a very good batting line up and could bat till number eight or nine. It was important that we bowled well throughout the game and the bowlers did that.”
It was Mumbai Indians’ second consecutive win at home this year, which augured well for the team. “Last year we had a tough year, we did not win many home games, but this year things look good for us,” said Karthik.