Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pollard all-round expertise. 27-run win for Mumbai Indians

MUMBAI: Kieron Pollard’s all-round proficiency and Lasith Malinga’s famed stinginess brought about a 27-run win for Mumbai Indians over Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.This was Royals’ 1st defeat of the season, and it came to be in spite of a scorching 76 by Owais Shah as the visit side pursued in serious the imposing 198 it was set by Mumbai.

Shah, who hammered 5 sixes and as 5 fours in his 42-ball knock, alliance for 92 runs in 57 balls with Ajinkya Rahane (40, 31b) for the 3rd wicket, after captain Rahul Dravid and Shreevats Goswami had exit to Munaf Patel off straight balls in the 2nd over of the chase. Rahane last until the 12th over, before holing out to long-on (off Pollard), but Shah moved on unabated, getting 50 in 32 balls and going on a boundary-hitting spree against Harbhajan and the West Indian import.
Rajasthan Royals needed 64 from 6 overs when Malinga returned for his 2nd spell, and splayed Shah’s stumps with an intense Yorker. Johan Botha was out in the same over, and although Kevon Cooper and Ashok Menaria strike some lusty blows, ask soon spiraled beyond redress and into a bout of wickets as Pollard (4 for 44) cleaned up the tail. Munaf, who was on a hat-trick in the 2nd over, done with 4 for 28, while Malinga was stinginess personified with figures of 4-0-13-2. Munaf now holds the Purple Cap for being the highest wicket-taker so far in IPL-5.

Earlier, Mumbai total 197-6 thanks to Pollard (64, 33b, 6x4, 4x6) and Rayudu (47 no., 32b, 1x4, 3x6). The 2 got together after Richard Levi and Rohit Sharma had jump-started Mumbai, and added 96 in just 52 balls for the 4 wicket to put the home team confidently in the driver’s seat. Mumbai begin its innings with marked speed and although two fast wickets – of Levi and Rohit, both to Brad Hogg’s left-arm fare – should have most probably pegged them back, Pollard and Rayudu show no sign of letting up as the Mumbai team reached 100 in the 13th over.
The West Indian, who had been droning along well all this while, revved into action when Botha came on in the 14th over. Pollard waded into the South African, bludgeon 22 runs to boost Mumbai’s already sky-high scoring rate. Pollard reached his 50 in 31 deliveries with a sizzling straight hit off Ankeet Chavan, and followed it up with successive fours in the same over. He was lastly caught at long-on, off Chavan, after a nasty hoick failed to clear the fours.

Rayudu had kept back himself busy too, flat-batting Trivedi and Cooper for sixes to sustain the energy. Although Mumbai lost 3 batsmen in a hurry – Pollard, Dinesh Karthik and James Franklin within 10 balls of each one other – skipper Harbhajan saunter in and struck a lively 18 off 6balls. Bhajji’s cameo took Mumbai unbearably close to the magical mark of 200, leaving Royals to follow down the highest total so far of IPL-V to protect their perfect 2012 record – a mission that proved impractical for David’s men.
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