Mumbai Indians v Lions, CLT20, Jaipur September 27, 2013

Mumbai stay alive with easy victory

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Mumbai Indians 141 for 3 (Smith 63*) beat Lions 140 for 5 (Petersen 35*) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Mumbai Indians were huge favourites going into two previous encounters with Lions in the Champions League, and on both occasions they had come up short. This time, there was the added pressure of it being a must-win encounter and the challenge of a juicy pitch with pace that reminded the Lions captain, Alviro Petersen, of the track at his home ground in Johannesburg. Mumbai didn't buckle this time, though, coasting to a seven-wicket victory on the back of a typically power-packed half-century from Dwayne Smith and a superb spell from Harbhajan Singh.

The match had been shifted out from Ahmedabad due to the persistent rains there, and while the skies were clearer in Jaipur, there was still an early interruption as the floodlights failed, holding up play for over 20 minutes.

Before that, there had been a glimpse of the bounce in the surface as Mitchell Johnson got a short delivery to lift off, flying for a one-bounce four with no intervention from the batsman. Still, the early help in the track which had both captains eager to bowl first didn't bother Lions too much as they reached 40 for 1 after five overs.

Mumbai then wrestled the advantage in a passage that began with a Rishi Dhawan maiden. Harbhajan's straighter one - which he used frequently - foxed Quinton de Kock. Neil McKenzie, Lions' hero in both their previous matches against Mumbai, showed glimpses of his ability with a deft reverse-sweep and a supremely-timed six over long-on. He, however, misread Dhawan's incutter to be bowled for 15, and with Pragan Ojha striking in his first two overs, Lions were soon stumbling at 81 for 5.

Ojha's third over was taken for two sixes - including a 103m hit by Dwaine Pretorius - as he and Petersen struck a 59-run unbeaten partnership that took Lions to a reasonable total of 140. With the new ball jagging around, beating the bat consistently, Lions still had a chance of defending the total.

Their hopes were raised as the wait for a big score from Sachin Tendulkar continued when he was baffled by a slower one from Sohail Tanvir, and Dinesh Karthik also departed early.

A muscular innings from Smith, though, dashed Lions' chances. It was not the most fluent knock, as there were several edges, and he missed the ball repeatedly, but when he connected properly, the ball rocketed to the boundary. His runs came almost exclusively on the leg-side as he used the short-arm pull and the launch over long-on quite effectively.

The asking-rate was never out of hand, and even though Kieron Pollard took some time to settle after Rohit Sharma's dismissal, the chase was completed with nine deliveries to spare. Pollard made up for lost time with three big sixes, and Smith stayed till the end to leave Lions hoping for something of a miracle to make it to the semi-finals.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 29, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    As big a fan as one might be of any particular player, one should never lose perspective. It's Team India first, and, then and only then comes ANY player. Simple as that. Dravid played well in the past. Thank you for your services. VVS played well in the past. Thank your services. Statchin played well in the past. Thank you for your services. But somehow, Statchin's fans are in this perennial wishful state of mind called - "He will prove you all detractors wrong". What exactly has he got to prove to anybody? Why one should paint such a bleak picture of him? One, two or three centuries in any future series doesn't prove or disprove anything new. So, have some mercy on him and drill some sense into his head, if you all really like him.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 29, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    @SandipManjrekar, dude the topic is not about me. Is it? The topic isn't about past either. So, let's talk about present. No exceptions here. So, as we speak, Dravid has been cleaned up for a duck off 4 balls. This is cricket. You know it and I know it. Unless a spot is vacant, you can't bring in a new player. You can get a vacant spot by two means - retirement or dropping. Retiring is a player's personal call. Dropping is the only option that we need to look into. It's long overdue that Statchin gets dropped. But, I'm sure he will excuse himself from the SA Tour. Just wait and watch. Once again, we don't need Dravid or VVS or Statchin in the Indian Team. They are all past due to represent the country team at international level. They want to continue in franchise cricket?? Sure, it's up to their owners.

  • SandipManjrekar on September 29, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas_Atheist

    I don't understand how you wrote about a person who changed IND cricket since last 23 years. He played 20 days of cricket in a whole calendar 2013. IND too played 20 days of Test cricket in 2013. He played in IPL 2013 too & looked good before sitting out due to wrist injury. Why do you are in hurry to retire him? How do you judge the current IND Test team doesn't require him? Cool down your temper man. Don't underestimate about Proteas and overestimate about IND Test team. IND LOI team is different than Tests and you need to change your criteria to judge on the basis of T20. You seem to be quite optimistic fan of T20.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 29, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    @sachinisawesome, dude I understand your point but beg to differ with you. Indian team doesn't need him or Dravid or VVS. Simple as that.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 29, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    @sachinisawespme, dude I understand your point but beg to differ with you. Indian team doesn't need him or Dravid or VVS. Simple as that.

  • sachinisawesome on September 28, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    @ Dravid_Gravitas I love Rahul Dravid but your hatred towards Sachin made me disrespect Dravid. I hope you realise Sachin has given India 23 years of cricket. It is not a joke. It is easy to find flaws in people. I agree its painful to watch sachin batting this way but he has already retired from ODIs and IPL and this is his last CLt20. And most probably will retire from Tests as well. So let him leave properly without insulting him. I know you should not be in the team just becoz of past glory, but too many players retired in a short span and India needed somebody to be there to guide the youngsters. If he was after records he would have played one more series at home and would have score 50th ODI century but he retired without even playing one last match. That is how selfless he is.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 28, 2013, 20:46 GMT

    @statchinisawesome, sure bro talk about franchise cricket. Franchise cricket is very interesting. I like it too.

  • sachinisawesome on September 28, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    @ Dravid_Gra(great strike rate)vitas And I was talking about an elephant who has never performed in franchise cricket. Has never won an orange cap. Has never taken his franchise to finals.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 28, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    @statchinisawesome, lol. Good one there bro. Thoroughly enjoyed your reposte. But, I'm specifically talking about Team India and her future. Not franchise cricket.

  • sachinisawesome on September 28, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    @ Dravid_Gravitas There is an elephant in Rajasthan team as well. He once was an icon player when IPL started then was on the verge of going unsold. He has never scored runs but somehow is still playing becoz people think he is a good captain. I think if that elephant is dropped then RR can also win the Champions league. That elephant is wasting one place at the top of the order and scores at a SR of 100 during powerplay. That elephant puts undue pressure on Rahane.