A scintillating 63 from Sachin Tendulkar and an equally smashing 61 from Saurabh Tiwary helped Mumbai Indians post an imposing 218 for 7 against the in-form Delhi Daredevils, a score which proved more than enough for Mumbai to register their second successive win, and hand Delhi their first defeat. Chasing the huge target, Delhi began on an aggressive note with Tillakaratne Dilshan opening the innings with Virender Sehwag in place of the injured skipper Gautam Gambhir.
The duo went hammer and tongs right from the start, but a smart piece of bowling by Lasith Malinga ended Dilshan’s threatening knock. Dilshan was cleaned up by a slower ball for 17 and that opened the floodgates as Mumbai cruised to a comprehensive win.
The victory was achieved thanks in main to two utterly entertaining and typical T20 knocks. One was played by none other than the master blaster Tendulkar. He batted as if he was the 16-year-old Sachin, fearlessly thrashing the bowlers all around the park. It was a great sight to watch the Mumbaikar in great flow.
Over the years, the heavy burden of expectations has forced him to play in a rather measured manner. But, thanks to T20 we can again see glimpses of the batsman, who dominated bowlers the world over with utter disdain. As usual, his innings featured lofted drives down the ground and deft touches behind the wicket. However, it was the sight of him charging down the wickets and hitting the spinner over the top that remains a favourite with Sachin fans.
When the little master eventually fell striving for quick runs, Delhi heaved a sigh of relief. But, they could not have fathomed what was to come. Saurabh Tiwary was equally explosive if not more and sent the Delhi bowlers on a massive leather hunt. With four boundaries and three sixes, he ensured that Mumbai easily crossed 200. Tiwary got great support from Ambati Rayadu, who contributed 34, an innings which also included three sixes.
While the Mumbai batsmen benefited from a number of useful partnerships, the Delhi bowling was completely out of sync. For a change even Dirk Nannes went for runs, bowling length deliveries and being punished accordingly against a strong batting line-up. Still, his figures of none for 35 were respectable in comparison to the rest. Though Farveez Maharoof picked up two wickets, that of Sanath Jayasuriya and Rayadu, he leaked 50 runs.
Spraying the ball all over, he was easy meat for the Mumbai batsmen. Left-arm quickie Pradeep Sangwan and the two spinners, Ladda and Mishra, did not fare any better. While Sangwan managed to sneak in one economical over, the latter who were torn apart by Sachin, Tiwary and Rayadu.
The onslaught did not seem to dent Delhi’s confidence though as Dilshan and Sehwag began merrily. However, they missed Gambhir big time, which was evident from the fact that no one was prepared to stick around once they lost a few quick wickets. Bravo, Harbhajan and Jayasuriya took advantage of the situation and added a couple of scalps each to their kitty.
This win by Mumbai has now set up the tournament nicely, with no team being able to extent their winning steak beyond two. Whether Mumbai will break the hoodoo remains to be seen.
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