Ambati Rayudu’s sensational, unbeaten 55 off a mere 29 balls and Saurabh Tiwary’s rebuilding effort of 44 from 35 balls were responsible for Mumbai Indians recovering from a mid-innings collapse and posting 178 for 5 in their game against the struggling Deccan Chargers at the Brabourne Stadium.
The total was too good for Deccan, who were never in the hunt during the chase. The entire team succumbed to 115 all out before the stipulated overs and lost by an embarrassing 63-run margin.
Despite a professional performance by the Mumbai bowlers, it has to be said that the turning point of the match was the partnership between Rayudu and Tiwary. The duo added an impressive 65 in 7.4 overs at a stage when Mumbai where crumbling after a confident start.
The home team were cruising at 53 for no loss in the seventh over when things turned murky. Pragyan Ojha had Shikhar Dhawan stumped for 14 and in his next over cleaned up the dangerous Dwayne Bravo for 2. At the other end, Rahul Sharma claimed the ever so crucial scalp of Sachin Tendukar, who was well-set on 35.
Things could have gone horribly wrong for Mumbai had Rayudu and Tiwary not held things together. Mumbai were well-aided but Deccan’s fielders and some rather poor bowling in the death overs. Tiwary was lucky to survive on more than one occasion even as the bowlers went for over 12 an over in the last five overs of the innings.
Batting sensibly, Rayudu and Tiwary were initially prepared to get themselves in, at the same time ensuring that the run-rate did not come down drastically. And, once they were in, there was no stopping them. Rahul could have had Tiwary in his return spell, instead Herschelle Gibbs deflected it over the long-on boundary.
The fact that Deccan’s best fielder came up with that effort symbolized the agony of the Chargers. As if that wasn’t enough, Monish Mishra couldn’t latch on to a low offering from the same batsman. This was after the bowler had already been lofted for a maximum.
At the other end, Rayudu had better control. He slogged Andrew Symonds for a mighty off the last ball of the 16th overs. And, things only got worse for Deccan. Ojha did manage to pick up his third wicket by ending Tiwary’s important knock, but Rayudu continued his merry ways.
Jaskaran Singh was taken for 20 off the penultimate over, which featured two dismissive fours and a beautifully lofted, inside-out six. Kieron Pollard also threw his bat around a gathered three boundaries as Mumbai ended their innings on a high.
There was nothing noteworthy to talk about in Deccan’s chase. Gibbs hit a couple of boundaries off Harbhajan Singh and Adam Gilchrist lashed Lasith Malinga for a six. That was about it though. Gibbs, Gilchrist and VVS Laxman all few before the side crossed 40. Symonds, with 21, ended up being highest score, too low even in the shortest format of the game.
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