Match played on: April 15
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Toss won by: KTK, who elected to bowl
First Innings (MI):
Power Play Overs (1-6):
By the time the Power Play overs ended, Jayawardene might have had misgivings about having opted to field, on winning the toss. Tendulkar, on 31 off 22 balls, bazinga was looking ominous, and at 44/0, MI looked set for a big score.
At the ten-over mark, the score had moved up to 71/1, with Jacobs the man out, clean bowled by Gomez. The in-form Rayudu had joined his skipper at the crease, and the stage was set for an early slog.
Fifteen Over Stage:
With 54 runs accruing from the previous five overs, MI were 125/1, and looked perfectly poised for the final burst. Tendulkar had 55 runs off 45 balls, while Rayudu had 44 from 24. With nine wickets in hand, MI would have sighted 200 on their score horizon.
Slog Overs (16 – 20):
MI managed to reach 182/2, with skipper Tendulkar reaching his maiden T20 hundred, off the last ball. The score was less than what looked likely after 16 overs when MI were 145/1, but appeared to be sufficiently challenging, given the bowling resources Tendulkar had at his disposal.
First Innings Verdict:
There was nothing in the wicket for the bowlers but considering the size of the target, the question was, did KTK have the nerve? They had a few good players at the top of the order, but could come unraveled very quickly, were they to lose early wickets.
Second Innings (KTK):
Power Play Overs (1-6):
McCullum enjoyed a let-off when Rohit Sharma, fielding in the slips, dropped KTK’s opener, off Malinga’s first ball. Baz took the initiative stepping out to a full length ball and got a four to mid off, to ease the pressure, somewhat. A single off the last ball meant that the New Zealander had seen off Malinga’s first over, while retaining the strike. Patel who bowled the next over, kept the runs scored down to just three, and the tension was palpable, among KTK supporters. Malinga’s next over was probably the turning point of the match. Seventeen runs came off the over, with McCullum helping himself to three boundaries. Not only had MI’s best bowler gone wicket-less in his first spell, he had also been treated with relative disdain, by the KTK openers. KTK finished the Power Play on 50/0, the last over from Pollard going for 18 runs. More unfortunately for Pollard, Murtaza had dropped Jayawardene at backward point, off the fifth ball of the over.
The KTK Express rolled on merrily, and after 10 overs, the score read 84/0. with both batsmen looking set, MI needed to do something different, if they were to get back into the match.
Fifteen Over Stage:
The last five overs had yielded 50 runs, but Tendulkar had managed to break the opening partnership by bringing back Malinga into the attack. Bur the MI skipper had cause for worry, in Harbhajan’s indifferent form. Bhajji went for 33 runs in his four overs, without reward in the form of wickets. With less than 50 runs needed from the last five overs, the momentum had shifted in KTK’s favour.
Slog Overs (16-20):
Patel bowled the 16th over and gave away 9 runs. With 40 needed off the last four, just one economic over, at this stage, could have brought MI back into the reckoning. Murtaza appeared the obvious choice to bowl the 17th over, having given away just 17 runs in his three previous overs. Rohit Sharma was another part-timer that Tendulkar could have turned to. But the MI skipper opted for Pollard, who had been hit for 30, in his previous two overs. The 17th over went for 13 runs, leaving KTK 27 to get off the last three. Tendulkar turned again to Malinga and the Sri Lankan obliged, getting McCullum’s wicket off the first ball. With the new man Hodge failing to score off the next two deliveries, the asking rate had begun to climb. The Aussie batsman hit two decisive fours, in the three remaining deliveries, to keep KTK in the hunt. Tendulkar finally turned to Murtaza, and KTK’s new batsman, Jadeja, was equal to the challenge, creaming the first ball to long off for four. Four more runs accrued off the next three balls. Jadeja decided not to wait for the 20th over, and lofted Murtaza for sixes over mid-wicket and long on to seal a famous win for the Tuskers.
There was not much Tendulkar could do, after his main bowler had failed to provide a breakthrough, and Harbhajan’s lack of form did not help matters any. With Malinga likely to miss IPL games from the first week of May, owing to Sri Lanka’s tour of England, MI are suddenly looking vulnerable. What a difference one game can make.