Mumbai Indians falter at finish line

Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Mumbai: Mumbai Indians faltered at finish line to hand Mohali Kings XI a one-run win in a jigsaw battle at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday.

Indians, chasing a Himalayan 190-run victory target, were crusing along at 127/3 in 13th over lost a hoard of wickets in the death overs eventually falling short of victory-mark by one run.

The local outfit, which was marred by a flurry of run-outs (five in all), faced with a stiff equation of 19 more runs in the last six balls.


Yuvraj tossed the ball to VRV Singh to bowl a eventful final over. VRV hurled a waist high full toss - a no-ball and No 8 batsman Chitnis makes room and swung it over third-man for max and followed it up with a four over extra-cover to send the packed Wankhede into raptures.

Mumbai needed nine more runs off five balls to inch closer to semis while Mohali shy of three wickets to cement their place in last four. Mumbai managed five runs in three balls losing the wickets of Chitnis and Nehra in the shape of run-outs.

No 11 batsman Yelligatti walks in and scores two runs of the penultimate ball. Now the equation for Mumbai read 2 runs off one ball with a wicket in hand. Yelligatti mistimes a drive to Yuvraj mid-off and hurries for a single but smart Yuvi instead of going for direct hit throws himself to the stumps with Yelligatti well short of his ground.

Tendulkar compiled a superb 46-ball 65 and Mumbai was in the hunt till his dismissal. Batting maestro scored bulk of his runs with conventional shots. His innings was a treat for puritans. He scored runs at brisk pace without taking any undue risks and made sure others batted around him.

It looked like Mumbai will romp home when maestro and Abhishek Nayar (27 off 18) were making merry of VRV. But fall of two quick wickets and Sachin's dismissal in the span of three overs between 14th and 17th over proved costly for Mumbai. It is shame that Mumbai lost despite his class act.

Mohali, which retained second spot on IPL points chart, is assured of a place in last four rounds.

Earlier, in-form Aussie Shaun Marsh and his fellow countryman Luke Pomersbach forged a massive 133-run stand for the second wicket to prop up Mohali Kings XI to 189/4.

Marsh riding his luck with missed catches and run-out early on in his innings stroked a 56-ball 81 inclusive of seven boundary hits and four sixes while Pomersbach scored a not-so-convincing 79* in 50 balls.

Mumbai chasing a daunting 190-run target got off to a blazing start with Jayasuriya taking the attack to the rival camp from the word go. The Lankan fired 12-ball 20 including two sixes and a four off Sreesanth. However the India seamer had the last laugh dismissing his tormentor for a plumb LBW.

Sachin joined by Dwayne Smith (20 off 16) in the middle raised a quickfire 45 runs before Yuvraj throw found Smith short of crease. Sachin then forged a pacy 46 runs along with Nayar.

Leggie Chawla started the rot in the 14th over plucking the wicket of Nayar caught Srivastava at mid-wicket boundary. Yuvraj bowled an eventful 18th and swing the momentum in Mohali's favour with twin strikes. Yuvi accounted for Uthappa and Pollock to leave Mumbai in a bit of bother at 163/6.

Mumbai batters messed up the chase in final overs before Siddarth Chitnis aroused some hopes which eventually went in ashes.Tendulkar won the toss and predicatbly decided to chase on a flat batting wicket at Wankhede.

Mumbai skipper's decision was soon rewarded as the ever realiable Pollock sent Hopes packing in the very first over. Hopes got a thin edge off a away nipping delivery straight into the hand of Pinal Shah.

Luke Pomersbach joined his comptraiot Marsh and eased off the pressure on the latter belting Nehra for a six and four in the fourth over of the innings.

Marsh, reprieved on 6 by Uthappa off Polly in the third over, soon found his groove collecting 12 runs from the first over of change bowler Vikrant Yelligatti. The Western Australian dancing down the wicket lofted the offie for four over mid-off and two balls later lofted a flighted delivery on leg-stump over long-on fence.

From then no looking back for this compact southpaw - who collects his runs in a conventional way. The son of former Aussie opener Shaun feasted on the tossed up deliveries from offies Yelligatti and Chitnis. His timing was so immaculate that even the miscued hits sailed over the ropes.

On the other hand Pomersbach's innings was less than convincing. The stockly-built right-hander often struggled throughout the innings to negotiate the balls on off and outside off-stump line but scored his runs on on-side with a hoard of pulls, on-drives and slog sweep. Mumbai bowlers and Nehra in particular feeded his strength bowling on middle and leg-stump.

The Aussie duo laid a fine platform for the middle-order batters. Mumbai offie Chitnis (2/40) and Fernando (1/36) put brakes on scoring rate in the death overs removing Marsh, Yuvi and Mahela in quick succession. Pomersbach scored 16 runs of the last over bowled by Nehra to ensure his side post a competitive total.

Pollock, who gave Mumbai an early breakthro' dismissing Hopes caught Shah, returned with the measly figures of 1/14 in three overs.


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