What seemed to be a cakewalk didn’t turn out to be so in the end as Mumbai Indians struggled a bit to reach the 101-run target with 11 balls to spare against Deccan Chargers in an Indian Premier League-V match at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday.
The hosts finally reached crossed 100 — Deccan Chargers lowest score this season — with five wickets in hand to take third spot in the points table. After a dominating performance with the ball, Mumbai’s reply was rather timid, managing just seven boundaries and a six in the entire innings. They got the leading edge, as it were, on many occasions, and missed the outside edge a number of times on a green top.
Dale Steyn ensured Mumbai didn’t take the modest total lightly. The fiery South African pacer provided a wake-up call after rattling the middle and off stumps of opener Richard Levi off the very first ball of the Mumbai innings. Steyn was almost unplayable as he conceded only three runs in his first two overs.
There was a stunned silence when batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar (14) top-edged rookie pacer Veer Pratap Singh, who was constantly troubling the MI
batsmen by moving the ball both ways.
Steyn came back to instill more fear and grabbed the wicket of Dinesh Karthik (2). He could have got James Franklin for seven had Amit Mishra not dropped a sitter at third man. Nonetheless, Steyn finished his four-over spell claiming two wickets for 10 runs at an astonishing economy rate of 2.50.
Rohit Sharma, who was batting sensibly, then tried to up the ante, but gave a simple catch off JP Duminy’s last delivery. Sharma fell for 42, ending the 30-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Franklin.
The crowd started to get impatient after 20 balls without a boundary. Ambati Rayudu finally broke the shackles to thwack one over long-on for four.
Earlier, Mumbai skipper Harbhajan Singh, who badly needed to lift his game, did the damage dismissing Ishank Jaggi for two to take his second wicket of the tournament. He maintained a tight line and length and gave little scope for the Deccan batters to free their arms.
The offie gave away just five runs in his first two overs. In his final over, Harbhajan foxed Deccan’s highest run-scorer Shikhar Dhawan for 29 to grab his second wicket. He finished with 4-0-13-2 at an economy rate of 3.25.
Lasith Malinga further strangulated the DC batters, claiming four wickets for 16 in 3.4 overs. Chants of ‘Malinga Malinga’ became louder once he dismissed dangerous Cameron White (0) in the eighth over. A double strike by Franklin in his second over Daniel Christian (5) and Bharat Chipli (1) left the visitors struggling. Malinga cleaned up the tailenders.
Deccan Chargers: 100 all out in 18.4 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 29, Lasith Malinga 4-16)
Mumbai Indians: 101 for three in 18.1 overs (Rohit Sharma 42, Ambati Rayudu 19 not out; Dale Steyn 2-10)