By Jamie Alter
Mumbai: April 22, 2011
Albie Morkel’s stymying length and Doug Bollinger’s short-pitched tactics had Mumbai Indians on the back foot early in the piece, but the arrival of Rohit Sharma swung the momentum back the home side’s way. Sharma did all the hard work, first adding 61 with a plucky Ambati Rayudu, and then turned it on with Andrew Symonds.
Mumbai’s third opening experiment with Sachin Tendulkar came a cropper, as Rajagopal Sathish pulled his seventh scoreless delivery to midwicket inside the circle in the third over. After being tested by a hostile Bollinger earlier in the innings, Tendulkar was consumed by a short ball which he attempted to pull but top-edged to Michael Hussey backpedalling from first slip.
From 13 for two after 3.4 overs, MI sprung to life with the arrival of Sharma. Two coruscating square-drives for four off successive balls from Bollinger got Sharma purring, and he gave the Wankhede crowd further reason to cheer with a clip through square leg off Morkel and a stunning six off Joginder Sharma.
Rayudu was nowhere near as fluent as Sharma, but played his part in a 61-run recovery stand. After a couple well-timed shots early on, he struggled for timing and, after many miscues and crude hoiks, was stumped off Suraj Randiv for 27 off 29 balls.
The hulking frame of former Deccan Chargers team-mate Symonds was far more comforting for Sharma than a shaky Rayudu, and he soon lofted a straight six to raise his fifty. The pair upped the ante by taking 17 off the 16th over, bowled by Joginder, as Sharma creamed two boundaries and Symonds lifted six over long-on. By now the crowd was swaying to the beat of a different rhythm altogether.
The fifty-run stand needed just 29 balls, and more carnage followed. Symonds flexed his muscles with sixes off Ravichandran Ashwin and Suresh Raina, who was also shovelled over midwicket for maximum by Raina in a 17-run penultimate over. Bollinger did well to bowl his last two overs for 12, giving just four off the final over, but the fact that MI had taken 97 off the last ten overs meant CSK have to chase a stiff target. It was in stark contrast to the way they had begun.
Brief Scores: MI 164 for 4 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 87, Andrew Symonds 31*, Ambati Rayudu 27; Doug Bollinger 2 for 30, Albie Morkel 1 for 19, Suraj Randiv 1 for 31) v CSK.
(Jamie Alter is a freelance cricket writer, having worked at ESPNcricinfo and All Sports Magazine. His first book, The History of World Cup Cricket, is out now. His twitter feed is @jamie_alter)
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