Both teams were well aware about the nature of the wicket after their respective victories two days ago. On a wicket which was expected to be slow, Rohit Sharma elected to field, bringing in Mitchell Johnson for Glenn Maxwell. Apart from boasting of quality spinners, there was one more aspect which both teams were looking forward to — the short boundaries.
Perhaps Lendl Simmons backed himself a bit too much and tried to smash Harbhajan Singh in the second over of the match. However, Dwayne Smith on the boundary pulled off a brilliant catch inches inside the fence. It was the third duck for Simmons in this edition. Despite losing an early wicket, Trinidad batsmen’s intentions were pretty clear — try and clear the infield on as many occasions as possible. Ewin Lewis in particular slashed at anything which landed outside the line of the off-stump and earned quite a few runs. Even in the first over. He slashed well to pick a six over thirdman. Johnson though went for a few runs in his first spell, but the Aussie generated enough pace and swing.
Rohit Sharma’s alacrity was evident with constant field changes along with the bowlers. Sharma persisted with Harbhajan from one end and completed his quota conceding 35. The off-spinner got great bounce and turn from the Kotla wicket with occasional delivery gripping the surface. However, Lewis was in no mood to relent, and continued to go after the Mumbai bowlers.
Mumbai finally got their second wicket after Ojha was introduced in the ninth over. The left-arm bowler pitched one away from the leg-stump. Bravo hopped down the track and Dinesh Karthik collected it cleanly and whipped off the bails.
Lewis reached his second half-century with a fine cut shot between point and cover in the 10th over. However, the pacers managed to slow down the pace of the game considerably. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Rishi Dhawan — Mumbai’s most economical bowlers — maintained a tight length. While Lewis consistently tried to slash through the covers, both bowlers ensured that they pitched it up wider so that the batsmen can’t assert enough power behind the shot. The 21-year-old left-hander managed to keep his wicket intact along with Yannick Ottley who gave good support to Lewis.
The third-wicket partnership of 32 was finally broken after Lewis, trying to clip the ball on the leg failed to close the face of the bat at the right moment and the ball lobbed up in the air giving a simple catch to Kieron Pollard off his own bowling.
Sharma then brought back Ojha into the attack who gave no room for the batsmen to free their arms. In the following over, the Mumbai skipper brought back Johnson. The Aussie pacer was smashed for a boundary on the first ball and looked a touch erratic. However, he produced a good change of pace bowling full on the off to send Denesh Ramdin’s stump cartwheeling.
Within quick time, the scenario changed and Trinidad didn’t look as threatening to pose a big score. Credit to Sharma for using his bowlers well. He had two overs each of Dhawan and Coulter-Nile after the 17th over. Both of them didn’t disappoint keeping the ball full and wide not allowing the batsmen to get away.
Coulter-Nile was pick of the bowlers for Mumbai conceding 20 in his four overs and picking one wicket.
Out of the 18 occasions Trinidad have batted first and posted over 150, they have emrged victorious on 14 of those matches. So there’s a challenge for Mumbai there to get past the likes of Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree.
Trinidad and Tobago 153 for 5 in 20 overs (Evin Lewis 62, Yannick Ottley 41; Nathan Coulter-Nile 1 for 20, Pragyan Ojha 1 for 16) vs Mumbai Indians.
(Abhijit Banareis a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed onTwitterandblog)