IPL 2013: Happy Birthday For Tendulkar As Mumbai Win
Sachin Tendulkar may not have been able to mark his 40th birthday with an innings of note, but he ended up on the winning team
©REUTERS / Action Images
Mumbai Indians 162-5 (Smith 62) beat
Kolkata Knight Riders 159-6 by 5 wickets
Indian Premier League 2013, Kolkata
Mumbai Indians revived their flagging Indian Premier League 2013 fortunes with a last-over five-wicket win over reigning champions Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens.
After Dwayne Smith had thumped 62, it was left to Ambati Rayudu to hit the penultimate ball for four to hand Kolkata a third consecutive defeat, and one that leaves their chances of retaining the title hanging by a thread.
Kolkata had seen four batsmen pass 25 but Jacques Kallis top scored with 37 and their score of 159 for six proved to be just short.
Smith hit three fours and five sixes and after fellow West Indian Kieron Pollard hit 33 in 24, Rayudu, unbeaten on 13 in eight balls and Harbhajan Singh, on seven in two, handed Sachin Tendulkar the perfect present for his 40th birthday.
The match began slightly late due to rain but lacked no intensity as both sides were keen to end two-match losing streaks and it was Mumbai who were the more ruthless.
With Ricky Ponting standing aside to give the side better balance, Rohit Sharma took the reigns and did a reasonable job of leading his side in the field, helped greatly by Mitchell Johnson, Lasith Malinga and Pragyan Ojha picking up two wickets apiece.
Malinga looked to have rekindled something of his best form, shattering the stumps on two occasions to bowl Manoj Tiwary and Debabrata Das while Johnson put an end to a barnstorming start to the innings by Yusuf Pathan, who made 19 in six deliveries before he was caught by Harbhajan at slip.
Gautam Gambhir (26), Kallis, Tiwary (33) and Eoin Morgan (31) then got themselves into position to launch a final assault only to depart before making it possible, and how they would later rue their inability to see it through.
Mumbai then lost the wickets of birthday boy Tendulkar for two, to Sunil Narine, and Dinesh Karthik for seven to Sachithra Senanayake as Kolkata’s spinners weaved their magic.
Not that it was casting much of a spell over Smith, who blasted his way to a 34-ball half-century. Twice as slowly as Chris Gayle had managed one day earlier, but it didn’t matter, although it might have done had Mumbai not finished things off at the death.
They were slower to 50, 100 and 150 than Kolkata had been but the finishing flourish was all important.
Sharma (34 in 28) and Pollard helped get them into position before Sharma was caught and bowled by Narine and Pollard struck the first ball of the final over, bowled by Rajat Bhatia, high into the air, only to be caught by Tiwary.
Rayudu, who up until that point had been content to give the strike to Pollard, now had to seize the moment, although first he deferred to Harbhajan, who pulled Bhatia for six and then handed the strike to Rayudu.
Cool as you like, he found the cover boundary to rescue Mumbai and send them four points clear of the group of teams at the bottom: Kolkata, Pune Warriors and Delhi Daredevils.
© Cricket World 2013
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