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Mumbai Indians inch closer to semis
May 19, 2008 00:14 IST
Last Updated: May 19, 2008 16:46 IST
Mumbai Indians notched their sixth victory on the trot, beating Deccan Chargers by 25 runs, to stay in the hunt for a semi-final berth in the Indian Premier League.
The Mumbai team first scored a competitive 178 for seven, thanks to some sensible batting by Abishek Nayar and Dwayne Bravo [Images], and then restricted the hosts to 153 for seven in 20 overs, in Hyderabad, on Sunday night.
The victory was sweet revenge for the visitors, as the Chargers had beaten them by ten wickets in their home match in Mumbai earlier.
Bravo, who was playing his last match in the tournament, finished on a high note; he first collected 30 crucial runs and then took three wickets.
Y Venugopal Rao top-scored for the Hyderabad team with a sparkling 57.
It was his third half-century in the tournament and came off just 38 balls, inclusive of four boundaries and three sixes.
Rao also shared an 86-run stand with D Ravi Teja [Images] (37), who was castled by Bravo (3/24), for the fifth wicket.
Mumbai Indians' pacers Ashish Nehra and Bravo gave their team a good start by bowling a tight spell and creating opportunities for their fielders.
However, Rohan Raje dropped rival skipper Adam Gilchrist [Images] (13), who chipped the ball high in the air when on four.
Shahid Afridi [Images] (0) tried to extract maximum runs from the very first ball he faced and swung his arms to slice an off-stump ball bowled by Barvo, resulting in it going miles up in the sky and eventually landing in the safe hands of Dominic Thronely.
Nehra and Bravo gave away just 20 runs in the first four overs, putting the rival batsmen under pressure.
Sri Lankan paceman Dilhara Fernando then dealt a severe double blow to the hosts, dismissing Gilchrist and Rohit Sharma (6) with consecutive deliveries in his very first over, the fifth of the innings.
This left the hosts stuttering 20 for three.
Y Venugopal Rao and Chamara Silva, who were left with a huge salvaging task, put on 36 runs, but could not stretch their effort, as Silva (17) was undone by a misjudgment by umpire Billy Doctrove, who raised his finger to a Nayar caught-behind appeal.
Earlier, the Nayar-Bravo combination put up an important 53-run partnership for the fifth wicket when their team was struggling at 97 for 4 at one stage, after being sent in to bat.
R P Singh (3/35), who was the most successful bowler for the hosts, dismissed both of them in the 18th over, dashing the visitors' hopes of setting a bigger target.
However, the duo ensured that the Mumbai team got enough runs on the board to make a fight of it.
Nayar, the top-scorer for the Mumbai team, hit three fours and two sixes in his knock while Bravo hit two boundaries and as many sixes.
Jayasuriya (36) looked unstoppable from the word go as he began the proceedings with a fine-leg boundary off P Vijaykumar and then hit him for a six off the fifth ball.
The Sri Lankan then hit compatriot Nuwan Zoysa for three boundaries and a six in his first over.
This forced Gilchrist to introduce Rao, who did not disappoint and sent Jayasuriya packing. After hitting Rao (2/25) for a couple of boundaries, the Sri Lankan swept the spinner for a big shot but could only find R P Singh in the deep.
The left-handed opener took just 15 balls to score 39, hitting six fours and two sixes in his cameo.
Thronely then joined captain Tendulkar and the duo put together 33 runs for the second wicket. However the run-rate suffered as the hosts' bowlers did well.
Then Afridi (2/23) dealt a double blow to the Mumbai team, dismissing Tendulkar and Thornely in his second over.
Tendulkar, trying to accelerate the run-rate, lofted an Afridi delivery but could not execute the shot to perfection and gave away a simple catch to Chamara Silva, who ran from cover to mid-off.
This brought huge relief to Gilchrist as he had missed a stumping chance off Pragyan Ojha when Tendulkar came out of the crease attempting an inside-out shot.
Afridi then trapped Thornely two balls later. The Mumbai team never recovered from these shocks and struggled to maintain a high run-rate after that.