Mumbai: May 9, 2012
Wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik top-scored with a breezy 44 as Mumbai Indians struggled against a disciplined Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling attack to post 141 for six in their Indian Premier League match at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.
Karthik's 39-ball knock that included three fours and a six and his two significant partnerships with Sachin Tendulkar (24 in 27 balls) and Ambati Rayydu (22 in 39 balls) propped up the MI innings after they made a shocking start after being put to bat on a seam-friendly track.
MI lost two wickets in the second over, R Vinay Kumar accounting for both in a superb first spell with Zaheer Khan at the other end, before Tendulkar, who hit four fours, and Karthik stabilised the innings a bit with a stand of 39.
Tendulkar's dismissal at 41 in the ninth over saw Karthik and Ambati Rayudu joining hands to resurrect the stuttering innings with a stand of 44 in 33 balls.
But the dismissal of both these batsmen as well as Dwayne Smith in the space of 11 balls jolted the innings and left MI struggling at 100 for six.
Finally it was left to Harbhajan Singh (20 not out off 12 balls with two sixes) and the fit-again Kieron Pollard (21 not out off 13 balls with three fours) to hit some lusty blows to boost the score with an unbroken stand of 41 in 25 balls.
Pollard carted Vinay Kumar for successive sixes in the last over in which the medium pacer gave away 18 runs. Vinay Kumar ended up with two for 34 while Harshal Patel and Muttiah Muralitharan secured identical two for 24.
Mumbai Indians struggled to score runs on a wicket affording bounce and seam movement in plenty.
Both Zaheer and Vinay Kumar were impressive and the latter struck two big blows to send back left-handed opener James Franklin (1) and in-form number three Rohit Sharma (0) off the second and fifth balls of his first over, and the innings' second.
Both the batsmen played rash shots. Franklin was lured by a short-pitched ball to play a slash and was caught by Zaheer at third man. Rohit played across and was beaten by the inward tilt to be trapped LBW, leaving MI at a sorry two for two.
Vinay troubled even Tendulkar with his movement and struck the master batsman on the pads once but the ball was missing the leg by a small margin and the batsman escaped.
Tendulkar, on 1, also could have been dismissed run out had a throw from rival skipper Virat Kohli had struck the striker's end stumps when he set off for a non-existent run with non-striker Dinesh Karthik rooted to his crease. At the end of the fifth they were 12 for two.
The sixth over, the last one in the power play period, was made highly productive by Tendulkar who struck Vinay Kumar for three glorious fours offs successive balls. The 13 runs taken in the over boosted MI's total to 25 at the end of the power play stage of the innings.
The third wicket stand was slowly steadying the rocked boat and was worth 39 when Tendulkar mistimed a pull off Patel, who had replaced Zaheer after the latter's economical two-over spell, and skied a return catch in the ninth over.
At the end of the halfway stage, MI were 48 for three.
The fourth wicket pair of Karthik and Ambati Rayudu gathered runs mostly in singles and twos and were pegged back by Muttiah Muralitharan's bag of tricks. The duo added 44 runs in 33 balls to give a boost to the scoring rate.
Harshal Patel came back for his second spell to break the stand by dismissing Rayudu. Karthik struck Mohammed for two successive fours before trying to swing Muralitharan for a boundary only to be caught at long on.
Dwayne Smith, the hero of the last ball win over the Chennai Super Kings, fell off the next ball having crossed over to leave Murali on a hat-trick that was denied to the bowler by Kieron Pollard.
Harbhajan then hit two fours off Zaheer's last over, before Pollard, back in action after missing a few games due to a shoulder injury, hoisted Vinay for two huge sixes over the mid-wicket region. (PTI)
Brief Score: MI 141 for 6 in 20 overs (Dinesh Karthik 44, Sachin Tendulkar 24, Ambati Rayudu 22; Muttiah Muralitharan 2 for 24, Harshal Patel 2 for 24, R Vinay Kumar 2 for 34) vs. RCB