Harsh Kalan in Mumbai 23 May 2014 - 07:41pm IST
Report: Match 51 – MI v DD
MI keep Playoffs hopes alive with crucial win
Earlier, DD won the toss and chose to field first. After Lendl Simmons’ great showing at Mohali a couple of nights ago, today it was his opening partner, Michael Hussey’s turn to shine. The veteran batsman did not take too long to go after the DD bowlers. Thanks to half-dozen boundaries from his willow, MI raced to the 50-run mark in the fifth over itself. He even launched a maximum in the next over to help his team compile a total of 65 runs in the powerplay. At that point, Hussey was batting on 40, while Simmons, who was on 17 at that stage, seemed content with supporting his partner.
However, Simmons perished in the eighth over – off the bowling of Imran Tahir – leaving MI on 87 for one. But Hussey, who soon brought up his half-century, continued to run up the score and took MI to 100 for one at the halfway stage. He was eventually run out in the 12th over with his team going at a rate of 10-an-over. Jaydev Unadkat then gave the visitors a crucial breakthrough with the wicket of Rohit Sharma (30). And thereafter, MI went off track, losing wickets at regular intervals. Kieron Pollard (11) was dismissed by Unadkat a couple of deliveries after his skipper. Even Ambati Rayudu (2) and Aditya Tare (14) did not last long; while the former fell prey to Shahbaz Nadeem in the 16th over, the MI wicketkeeper became Tahir’s second victim of the game, in the very next over.
Wayne Parnell then returned to get rid of Harbhajan Singh (2). Marchant de Lange (1) was the next man to depart; he became the third batsman in the hosts’ line-up to get foxed by Tahir. DD then effected two run-outs – to dismiss Pragyan Ojha in the 19th over, and Shreyas Gopal (11) in the final over – to bowl MI out for 173 with three balls to spare.
In response, Kevin Pietersen started with a flourish. The DD skipper punished all loose offerings from the MI bowlers, while Murali Vijay, at the other end, played the perfect foil. Pietersen struck regular fours and the occasional big hit to keep the DD run-rate up to speed with the required rate. However, he lost Vijay’s company in the sixth over with the score on 43, as Gopal struck for MI. And after adding 16 runs for the second wicket with Dinesh Karthik, even Pietersen (44) departed; he was cleaned up by Harbhajan. de Lange then picked up his first wicket in MI colours when he bowled Karthik (7) out in the 10th over. At the halfway point, DD were playing catch-up, at 62 for three, despite a promising start.
But with JP Duminy and Manoj Tiwary joining forces, DD were very much in the contest. Starting with the 12th over, the duo took the attack to the MI bowlers. Over the next three overs, they added 32 runs, and took their team past the 100-run mark. Then after a slow 15th over, they plundered a combined 25 runs off the 16th and 17th overs. Thanks to their exploits, DD needed 44 runs off 18 balls at that point. The next over cost MI 12 runs, as the match was heading to a thrilling finish. But de Lange bowled a great 19th over in which he conceded only seven runs and picked up the wicket of Tiwary (41) to tilt the match in MI’s favour. And despite Duminy’s (40*) best efforts, DD could only manage 158 for four in 20 overs.
Thanks to the two points earned from this result, MI now have 12 points from 13 games, and hence, are still in the running for the last available Playoffs spot.
Man of the Match: Michael Hussey for his match-winning half-century