Mumbai Indians defended a small total of 120 and thrashed Pune Warriors’ hopes of scoring a 2nd victory against it in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2012) on Thursday.
Lasith Malinga’s brilliant penultimate over helps the visitor pull off an exciting one-run win.
The seventh wicket pair of Mithun Manhas and Bhuvneshwar Kumar needed 12 runs in the last over to take Pune past the finishing line.
Bhuvneshwar hit a boundary off Munaf Patel off the penultimate ball but the home team lost by a run as it could manage only two runs off the last ball. It was MI’s sixth win in the league and will stay in the third position in the table.
Earlier, After they won the toss, the Mumbai Indians made a solid start with openers Sachin Tendulkar (34) and James Franklin (25) putting on 50 for the first wicket inside eight overs.
The pitch appeared distinctly sluggish, but the actual threat emerged from Bhuvneshwar Kumar who first broke MI’s promising first wicket stand at 50. It was the third half-century partnership between Tendulkar and Franklin.
Rohit Sharma was run out by some smart work by Smith and MI had lost its in-form batsman. Nehra’s double-strike — removing Tendulkar and Robin Peterson — put the host in firm control.
Mumbai Indians added a mere 47 runs from the seventh to the 14th overs and lost three vital wickets.
Nehra conceded just five runs in the second spell of three overs and Kumar landed the ball at the right areas to finish with excellent figures of two for nine in three overs.
After several misses Malinga hit two big blows that produced 26 runs for the eighth wicket for MI to set Warriors almost a run-a-ball target.
On most pitches a target of 121 should be easier than a walk in the park. But the Pune Warriors can rarely be accused of taking the easy route. Robin Uthappa, who held himself back, made 18 at a run-a-ball, but should really have used the opportunity to bed down and make a big score.
Jesse Ryder holed out, and when Michael Clarke was at the wrong end of an iffy lbw decision, the Pune Warriors had put themselves under a bit of pressure at 44 for 3 in the 9th over. Steve Smith, who has been Pune’s talisman, endured a rare failure, and before you knew it a game that was won was slipping away.
Sourav Ganguly took up 24 balls for his 16, and when the final over began with 12 still needed, Mithun Manhas could have done with all the extra breathing space. Manhas, who ended up unbeaten on 42 from 34, was stuck at the non-striker’s end when it mattered the most, leaving the Pune Warriors with a defeat they could easily have avoided.