Match 45 April 11, 2010

Mumbai ride on dominant Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar shored up Mumbai Indians yet again with his fifth half-century of the IPL which all but guaranteed Mumbai a place in the semi-final and took him to the top of the run-charts in the tournament. He overcame Rajasthan Royals' strong start by building two partnerships: the first with JP Duminy to lead Mumbai's recovery after the loss of three early wickets, and the second with Kieron Pollard to accelerate at the end.

Tendulkar faced just 12 deliveries in Mumbai's Powerplay, but adapted superbly, restraining himself while ensuring a healthy rate after the early setbacks, and taking off with ease at the death against Rajasthan's seamers.

There was hardly anything for the Jaipur crowd to cheer thereafter, but franchise loyalties mattered little in a Shane Warne v Tendulkar contest that fans were deprived of in the previous encounter. Tendulkar prevailed today, with three boundaries in one over against his counterpart. Warne was the only Rajasthan spinner to rely on flight, and Tendulkar improvised twice by striking him inside-out through extra cover. And when Warne dropped one short, Tendulkar made room to cut him through point.

He helped Mumbai score 68 in the final five overs, including 20 in the last, to boost them to 174, a score they defended with ease.