Rohit Sharma’s blistering 51 off 24 balls (four fours, four sixes) against Perth Scorchers in a Champions League Twenty20 tie at the Feroz Shah Kotla here yesterday, extended Sachin Tendulkar’s T20 career at least for one more game.
Sachin however, was out for a duck after facing just two balls as he attempted to loft left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff over leg only to be neatly caught by Sam Whiteman at deep square leg.
Mumbai Indians though cruised to a six-wicket win as they chased down Perth’s 149 for 6 with 40 balls to spare and made it to the semi-finals of the T20 extravaganza. Opener Dwayne Smith was the other top scorer for Mumbai with a 25-ball 48 that included five fours and three sixes.
Skipper Rohit admitted Sachin’s dismissal was rather unfortunate. “We all know how many runs Sachin has scored and how much experience he’s got. It was an unfortunate dismissal. We were chasing 149 and needed 11 runs per over.
It’s not easy. I’m not concerned about Sachin’s form. I’m sure he’ll delver for us in the semis,” said Rohit, who built a crucial 65-run partnership off just 37 balls with big-hitter Kieron Pollard.
It was not just a must-win game for Mumbai but they also had to chase the target in just 14.2 overs to make it to the semi-finals. Rohit said his team played to plan. “We knew we had around 14 overs in which to chase the target — 14.2 overs to be precise.
And we also knew that Delhi is always a good wicket to bat on. We had a lot of meetings and planned exactly what to do as a batting unit. Everyone played their part. Smithy (Dwayne Smith) started off really well.
Then (Glenn) Maxwell came and got a couple of boundaries, after which Pollard and I had a decent partnership and (Ambati) Rayudu (14 not out) finished it off,” said Rohit. Scorchers coach Justin Langer admitted his boys lost to a better team.
“Mumbai Indians is a team of superstars; they have incredible talent, and got the win they wanted in the required number of overs. But, it was good to get Sachin early,” he said.
Brief scores: Perth Scorchers: 149-6 (S Whiteman 51 n o; N Coulter-Nile 3-19) lost to MI: 152-4 in 13.2 overs (Rohit Sharma 51 n o, D Smith 48; Brad Hogg 2-26) by 6 wkts.