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April 6, 2012
Pune Warriors India 129 for 9 (Smith 39, Malinga 2-16) beat Mumbai Indians 100 for 9 (Dinda 4-17) by 29 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
The owners of Pune Warriors India, who had threatened to pull out of the IPL because they felt disadvantaged by the tournament's rules, watched their team cause an upset at a packed Wankhede Stadium, where they defended a modest total against one of the tournament favourites, Mumbai Indians. The Warriors' spinners - of left-arm, offspin and legbreak variety - masterminded by new captain Sourav Ganguly, thrived on a generous pitch, while Ashok Dinda offered substantial pace support.
The result was a surprise because Mumbai Indians had restricted Warriors to 129 for 9, especially after their batsmen chased successfully with ease on opening night in Chennai. However, Mumbai Indians were without Sachin Tendulkar, who was nursing a bruised hand, and the instability at the top of the order resulted in a flurry of wickets that damaged the chase irrevocably.
The Warriors began to control the game as early as the second ball of the chase, when Murali Kartik spun one past the outside edge of the advancing Richard Levi, the Man of the Match against Super Kings for scoring a half-century. Ganguly used Kartik in two more one-over spells, and in his second he took out Dinesh Karthik, who was well set on 32.
With Tendulkar missing and Levi out for a duck, Mumbai Indians's position got worse in the second over, when two slashes against Dinda resulted in edges that accounted for Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma. The hosts were floundering at 5 for 3. Dinda was to return late in the game to take two more wickets: those of James Franklin, who consumed 42 balls to score 32, and the captain Harbhajan Singh for 16 in the final over.
Franklin and Karthik had steadied the innings after the early wobble but they were unable to score rapidly against the offspin of Marlon Samuels and legspin of Rahul Sharma. Wickets did not fall but the asking-rate rose. Sharma's first ball was a long-hop which Karthik pulled for four, but he still finished with 1-16 in four overs. His only wicket came off the final ball of his spell and it ended the game as a contest. Kieron Pollard was bowled by a quicker ball, and the equation of 53 off 24 balls was 29 too many for Mumbai Indians to get.
That the Warriors had a score they could hope to defend was down to contributions from Robin Uthappa and Steven Smith, who was Man of the Match for his breezy 39 during the death overs. They began their partnership of 44 after Warriors had been reduced to 47 for 4 in the ninth over. Uthappa had begun steadily, scoring at a run a ball, and had only started to accelerate when he skied a return catch to Pollard. Smith, however, stayed until the final over, using his unorthodox style to find gaps in the field. Munaf Patel gave Smith an angry send-off when he was dismissed in the final over, with the score on 128 for 8, but the batsman had the final laugh.
Mumbai Indians, however, had been impressive with the ball and in the field. Lasith Malinga bowled a dangerous spell full of yorkers, and was supported by Harbhajan and Munaf, who maintained pressure on the Warriors batsmen. And Pragyan Ojha spun his left-arm orthodox significantly, often beating the right-handers by several inches. Their fielding was exceptional, with Pollard and Rayudu patrolling the boundary to prevent Callum Ferguson from breaking free, and Rohit dismissing him with a direct hit when one stump was visible from point. At the half-way stage, Mumbai Indians were favourites, but their batsmen collapsed to underline just how unpredictable this format can be.
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