Fans miss Sachin in MI's first home game

Apr 07, 2012, 06:32 IST | Harit N Joshi

Sachin Tendulkar fans were left high and dry after the batting legend opted out of the Maharashtra derby between Mumbai Indians and Pune Warriors India in the Indian Premier League at the Wankhede Stadium, which was nearly a full house yesterday.

Tendulkar injured the index finger of his right hand during the IPL’s opening game against Chennai Super Kings on April 4. Rohit Jaiprakash, a Tendulkar fan, rued: “I came all the way from Vashi (Navi Mumbai) in this scorching heat to see Tendulkar play.

It’s my bad luck that he didn’t play.” However, for some fans, seeing a galaxy of other star players was enough to compensate Tendulkar’s absence. “Obviously, we would have loved to see Sachin in action, but it was equally exciting to see other Mumbai Indians stars playing their heart out. 

“Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh are exciting cricketers to watch as well,” said a college student Ankush Sharma. The batting maestro, however, made a brief appearance on the field during the first strategic time-out during Mumbai Indians’ innings. The crowd couldn’t stop roaring.

Samuels’ dull IPL debut
Pune Warriors India all-rounder Marlon Samuels’ Indian Premier League debut was a forgettable one at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday as far as his batting is concerned though he didn’t do too badly with his bowling later.

Party! Cheer girls perform during the Mumbai Indians vs Pune Warriors Indian Premier League match yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK

The explosive West Indian cricketer, who was the highest run-scorer for Duronto Rajshahi in the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League, lasted for just eight minutes, scoring four runs in as many balls before being scalped by Lasith Malinga’s unplayable yorker.

Samuels could well have been caught first ball had it carried to mid-off. Facing a pitched-up delivery by Kieron Pollard, the Jamaican couldn’t resist freeing his arms and tried to go over the top. Luckily, it fell short.

However, Samuels departed soon, trying to give himself some room, but failed to connect Malinga’s toe-crushing yorker. Samuels enjoyed some success with the ball, claiming the wicket of big-hitter Suryakumar Yadav (0).

On May 9, 2010 Samuels completed his two-year ban imposed by the International Cricket Council after being accused for giving out team information to a bookie prior to India vs WI ODI at Nagpur in 2007. 

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