Smith, Rohrer guide NSW Blues to five-wicket win against Mumbai Indians

Steve Smith scored 45 off 47 balls studded with four boundaries and a six Getty Images

By Arun Pradeep

Chennai: Oct 2, 2011

Mumbai Indians paid the price of a listless batting display as they suffered their first defeat in the Champions League Twenty20 with a five-wicket loss to New South Wales Blues.

Electing to bat, Mumbai could score a paltry 100 for seven in their last Group A league match with James Franklin top-scoring with a 51-ball 42 and only two other lower-order batsmen crossing double digit at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

The bowlers, however, gave hopes of a memorable victory with a spirited fight by reducing NSW to 28 for five in the seventh over before they lost the plot and failed to break the sixth wicket partnership of Steven Smith (45 not out) and Ben Rohrer (26 not out).

The duo shared 73 runs from 10.4 overs for unbroken sixth wicket to guide NSW to their second win of the tournament by reaching 101 for five with three overs to spare.

Mumbai ended their league engagements on five points while NSW are on four with one match to play.

Defending a meagre total, Mumbai tried to make a match out of it as their fired up pacers ran through the NSW top order with Abu Nechim Ahmed (3/23) scalping three while Lasith Malinga (1/23) removed captain Simon Katich.

Ahmed removed Watson (3) with his first delivery with the ball first thudding on the pads of the batsman en route to hitting the stumps.

As if taking revenge for Watson’s wicket, the other opener David Warner smashed Ahmed for two consecutive fours before he also fell to the bowler in the final ball of the second over.

Warner (12) was a bit early in his shot to a fuller length ball and the batsman was holed out to Harbhajan Singh. Warner faced four balls out of which he hit three fours.

That was all Mumbai could do as Smith and Rohrer built the innings slowly but steadily to take their side home. They batted sensibly without taking much risk with occasional boundaries.

Earlier, NSW put up a disciplined bowling effort to restrict Mumbai to a paltry 100 for seven.

Franklin’s patient unbeaten 42 off 51 balls was the only saving grace for Mumbai Indians as they managed to attain the three-figure mark.

In fact, a 28-run seventh-wicket partnership between Franklin and skipper Harbhajan Singh (15) saved the Mumbai outfit from further embarrassment.

Veteran pacer Stuart Clark (2/15) and left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe (2/18) did most of the damage for Mumbai, sharing four wickets between them.

Mumbai’s misery can be gauged from the fact that not a single batsmen could manage to clear the ropes once in their entire innings.

Franklin’s knock helped Mumbai rally from a sorry-looking 27 for four to get past the 100-run mark, which undoubtedly is not enough on the MA Chidambaram strip.

The initial damage was done by Clark, who took two wickets in consecutive overs before Mitchell Starc (1/28) and Pat Cummins (1/13) also joined the party with a wicket each to leave Mumbai on the ropes in the fifth over.

Opting to bat, Mumbai openers Aiden Blizzard and Sarul Kanwar found the going tough against Clark and Starc upfront.

NSW struck as early as in the first over with Clark castling through the defence of Blizzard (1) before Starc made claimed the wicket of Kanwar (5) in the next over.

Ambati Rayudu (2) followed suit, caught in slips by Shane Watson off Clark in the third over.

Mumbai, desperate for a partnership having lost three wickets for just nine runs, found themselves in dire straits when Kieron Pollard (8) was bowled by Cummins.

Andrew Symonds (9) and Franklin took the score past 50-run mark in the 12th before the hard-hitting Australian was cleaned up by O’Keefe.

Mumbai never really recovered from the wobbly start they got, which eventually reflected in their total. (PTI)

Brief Scores: MI 100 for 7 in 20 overs (James Franklin 42*, Harbhajan Singh 15; Stuart Clarke 2 for 15, Steve O’Keefe 2 for 18, Patrick Cummins 1 for 13) lost to NSW Blues 101 for 5 in 17 overs (Steven Smith 45*, Ben Rohrer 26*; Abu Nechim Ahmed 3 for 23, Yuzvendra Chahal 1 for 17) by 5 wickets.

Man of the Match: Steven Smith

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Smith, Rohrer guide NSW Blues to five-wicket win against Mumbai Indians