Mumbai Indians v Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2013, Mumbai April 29, 2013

Mumbai almost self-destruct in tense win


Mumbai Indians 174 for 3 (Rohit 79*, Smith 33) beat Kings XI Punjab 170 (Miller 56, Hussey 34, Harbhajan 3-14) by four runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The glorious uncertainties of T20 cricket are also heavily reliant, sometimes, on mediocrity. Mumbai Indians were the relieved team at the end, having, only just, prevented Kings XI Punjab from pulling off a heist that, had it been achieved, would have left the hosts embarrassed.

Mumbai Indians had no business allowing the game to be decided off the last ball, after having dismissed a threatening David Miller which left Kings XI to chase 26 off the final two overs with just one wicket in hand. Kings XI still needed 17 in the last bowled by Dhawal Kulkarni. Six out of eight deliveries bowled in that over were full tosses, one of them was given a no-ball and another should have been - it was clearly above the waist - but wasn't, neither by Asad Rauf at square leg or AK Chaudhary at the bowling crease.

Praveen Kumar dispatched a juicy full toss on the pads for six off the penultimate ball to bring the equation down to five off the last delivery - also a full toss - but spooned a catch to Sachin Tendulkar. It completed a nerve-wracking win for the hosts, but left many wondering what might have been had the umpires, or even Kulkarni, who was fortunate not to have bowled to a more accomplished batsman, got their act right. The end had a touch of the bizarre, and was anti-climactic, as the umpires tried to double-check if the final delivery was a no-ball as Mumbai celebrated; it turned out to be comfortably below the waist with Kulkarni's foot well behind the line.

The most relieved of all of Mumbai's players, presumably, will be their captain Rohit Sharma. At the stroke of the midnight hour, he turned 26, and it would have been a birthday he wished he would have forgotten had Kings XI won. All the more because he had played a critical role in getting Mumbai to 174 after his team's scratchy start, with just 48 coming off the first nine overs. It is not often that Kieron Pollard plays second fiddle during the death overs of a T20 innings, but rotating the strike was all he needed to do as Rohit took over the role of aggressor.

So cleanly did Rohit - who scored his fourth half-century this season - strike the ball, he cleared the boundary by a distance his unusually subdued partner today has acquired a reputation to match, albeit with much lesser effort. During their unbeaten stand of 88, of which 72 were scored in the last five overs, Pollard scored at less than a run a ball and hit just one six and a four. At the other end, Rohit looked a figure of assuredness, though against some insipid Kings XI bowling that included a spate of extras, full tosses and deliveries bowled down leg. In the final over of the innings, which went for 27, David Hussey, captaining in place of a dropped Adam Gilchrist, sinned by bowling length and was smashed by Rohit for three sixes, one ending in the top tier behind midwicket, and two fours. Just as some fortune for Mumbai in the final over of the chase, this too proved decisive.

Kings XI appeared to be in the game even after losing two early wickets and then Shaun Marsh to a stunning one-handed catch from Pollard on the long-on boundary. Hussey and David Miller counterattacked, the former helping snatch 32 in the last two overs of the Powerplay. The introduction of spin, Harbhajan Singh's miserly spell that included three wickets, and Hussey's dismissal slowed down the innings considerably, but Miller continued to give Mumbai a scare with timely blows over the fence, two of them off Pollard followed by one each off Mitchell Johnson and Kulkarni. His innings of 56 ended when he struck Johnson straight to extra cover in the 18th over, but little did anyone know what was in store.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Rohit fetched himself a perfect birthday gift.... hats off to the young guy... he turned the game on its head

  • Sai on April 30, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    And some body mentioned IPL is easy to play- okay agreed, even though I thoroughly believe that IPL has good standards in bowling as they mix up with International players, then why the so called talents like rahane, Mukund, Manoj are unable to perform. If they cant perform in so called "club level bowlers" how could you expect them to perform in international matches. It nauseates me when people come up with mindless crap that Rohit has been giving so many oppurtunities blah blah. Are selectors really that stupid, this game is widely covered by media and world and would selectors back Rohit unless they have seen some thing extraordinary in him. And finally a knock out punch - Dhoni as a Captain of Team India for more than 5 years knows who is a talent and who is not. So what ever people think about RS he is to me the best talents in the subcontinent. RG>CP>VK>MV the four players I believe that will become the core of indian batting in the future.

  • Sai on April 30, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    @every one - Its heartening to see people backing Rohit after his performances in the IPL. To all who still disagree about his inclusion or his potential inclusion in the test XI, here are my 2 cents. Name another player in the Subcontinent who can play pace bowlers with ease? let me help you with the answer- 1.Manoj Tiwari- A guy who has been touted as unlucky and et all. But really Manoj Tiwari, have you guys seen him play he dosent have half the range of the strokes of RS and put him on SAF mine field he is a goner.2. Rahanne - This guy dosent have it in him, he has techinal deficiencies, any batsem who gets bowled consistently and the space he leaves between bat and pad my god you can drive a truck through it. I saw him play against Finn and he looked clueless. 3. Mukund - Horrible, he plants his front foot and plays away from his body as we saw in england last year. 4.Badrinath, kaif, Rayudu, Uthappa - dont even want to compare them with RS.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    In my opinion KXIP played poor cricket than MI, though score board does not reflect that. Fielding of MI was far more superior. KXIP not only dropped simple catch but misfield many times given away more runs. Most of the batsman of KXIP got out trying to hit six when the required run rate was not high and they needed partnership in middle. MI had their main batsmen facin last 5 overs Vs KXIP had their bowlers facing last 5 overs. KXIP bowler batted much better than expected to make a close match. About last over, I do not think no of runs scored would have changed much based on who bowled as their were two set batsmen going to face it.

  • randolf on April 30, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    Sollace, I'm sure that Rohit is not in the 'one-dimensional' bastmen group. I'm talking about those guys who can only perform when they open; or bat at No.3; or bat at No.4 ; etc. You would notice that I am not one of those who rate those kinds of players. In my book, the best batsman I've seen from India in Rahul Dravid by far! I give him the edge over Sunil Gavascar because Sunil was uni-dimensional also, as he only opened the innings for his whole career. Dravid is the perfect example of an ALL ROUND batsman - he bats in any position and performs excellently. Looking at Rohit play, he surely has the class to bat in any position. Sollace, I know that a lot of you think that the team that recently beat Australia is the one that should tour SA, without Rohit. But the best batsman in India right now for any SA tour is Rohit Sharma! In fact, knowing the current players in the team, after Captain Dhoni has been picked, I think the next name on the selection sheet must be Rohit's.

  • Sarangarajan on April 30, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    It was a heroic effort from KINGS XIP which was thwarted by a poor" no -ball decison" of the field umpires. What was a joke was that they called to check the last ball as a consolation.It was such a pathetic decision of Azad Rauf- May be the umpires too get carried away by the partisan Mumbai crowd.Just like Harzha Bhogle who goes crazy in his description of the winning moments of Mumbai I.

  • Thyagarajan on April 30, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Here was a captain who was leading from the back. Decided to bowl the last over and gave away tons of runs and then he has the gall to say "probably" that over cost the match. Is there any doubt that it was indeed the last over which cost them the match? It is surprsing to see so many experienced international players just do not know how to control such hitting. Even if they are part-timers letting the batsman score so much in an over is criminal.

  • Matrix on April 30, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    MI is not a very good team. Its weak and comes alive once in a while . Most of the MI players are riding a hype wave. None of them perform well for thier respective national side (e.g Rohit Sharma, Harbajan, Pollard and D Karthik for example. Its nto a surprise anyway.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    Why we fail to see the element of luck in players' performance? I see lots of comment hailing Rohit Sharma, which is also favorite player of mine. But in match against KXIP, it was luck that swayed the match in Mumbai's way. In all possibilities, chawla would have conceded lesser number of runs than Hussey in the final over. Rohit got Hussey, who is at best a good part timer while Praveen Kumar had Dhawal Kulkarni in the last over.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    where KingsXI went wrong was giving priority for Australian players in Auction..

    D.Hussy, Gilly, Marsh , R.Harris.. all ausis.. add to that coach Leamon..

    Next time they should consider taking some SA,SL,WI talent in..