South Australia pull off massive chase
South Australia 182 for 5 (Harris 56, Klinger 50) beat Mumbai Indians 180 for 7 (Tiwary 44, Rayudu 38, Pollard 36) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
South Australia pushed the much-fancied Mumbai Indians to the brink of elimination after a pulsating match in Durban, pulling off a massive chase to make it two wins in two and get a toehold on a place in the final four. In a game filled with frenetic scoring, Mumbai's abysmal fielding gifted the opposition plenty of lives and free runs, which proved to be the major difference between the two sides.
Mumbai seemed overwhelming favourites when Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo were dancing to the music after Pollard mowed Shaun Tait for the biggest six of the tournament in the penultimate over. However, there were cameos to outshine the Trinidad duo, as a nerveless South Australia plundered 69 off the final 5.3 overs to snatch victory. The late fireworks would have been to no avail had it not been for the solid 112-run opening stand between Daniel Harris and captain Michael Klinger.
With 41 needed off 18 deliveries, and with two new batsman at the crease, South Australia seemed headed for defeat. The choice for Mumbai was to go with either Bravo or the spinner Ali Murtaza. Sachin Tendulkar opted for Bravo, who was carted for three fours in his over by Dan Christian and Cameron Borgas. Still, Zaheer Khan removed Christian in the next over. Borgas was on 9 off 3 at that stage, and after a sliced four over point handed strike to the new man, Tom Cooper, formerly of the Netherlands.
Cooper faced the next five deliveries, which was all he needed to wrap up the game. The first was a full toss on the pads nonchalantly flicked over fine leg for six, before a yorker was kept out for a single to retain strike. Eleven off the final over from Harbhajan Singh. The third delivery was whipped to deep midwicket where JP Duminy dived to keep it to two. The next was swiped way over the stands to make the equation three off four. A full toss was offered, duly thumped past mid-on for four leaving Cooper in dreamland. He finished with 19 off 5, making Borgas' 14 off 5 seem a little bit pedestrian.
Before the manic finish, Harris and Klinger got over a rough beginning full of swings and misses. They also capitalised on the many chances Mumbai offered - Tendulkar and Tiwary dropping catches, and Duminy missing a run-out - and started to hit out once the main bowlers, Zaheer and Lasith Malinga, were taken off. Murtaza was welcomed with a couple of sixes, Bravo taken for 18 in the 11th and Pollard slapped around for 16 two overs later.
Mumbai hit back, taking a wicket in each of the next four overs to reduce South Australia to 140 for 4, but the tenacity and brilliance of Borgas and Cooper proved too much in the end.
Mumbai had earlier showed their batting wasn't overly reliant on their captain, Tendulkar, by fighting back from 59 for 3 at the halfway stage to finish at a strong 180. After South Australia's unheralded spinners stifled the scoring in the middle overs, Saurabh Tiwary and Pollard clobbered 58 from four overs to transform the match.
Mumbai were at an unsatisfactory 79 for 3 after 12.1 overs when Pollard walked in. Tiwary and Pollard smashed sixes over long-off in the rest of the over to kick start the innings. Pollard blasted another over long-on in the next before showing off his touch, paddling a full ball wide of fine leg for four to move to 18 off 8.
It was then time for Tiwary to take over. He mauled left-arm spinner Aaron O'Brien for 25 in the 16th, belting two sixes over midwicket and another over wide long-on off consecutive deliveries. In four overs, the Mumbai run-rate sprang from 6.5 to 8.5
Pollard and Tiwary provided most of the pyrotechnics, but contrasting efforts from Ambati Rayudu early on and Dwayne Bravo at the end were also important contributions.
Rayudu had scratched around early on when Mumbai was in trouble. He was just opening out by cracking the left-arm spinner O'Brien for a four and an effortless six over extra cover when he mishit Cullen Bailey to hand him his first Twenty20 wicket. Bravo came in with Mumbai on top and pushed them into a position of command with a four-filled cameo, looting 22 off 12 deliveries.
The tall total that Mumbai finished with hardly looked possible given their insipid start. Shikhar Dhawan didn't bother with footwork and was caught out by the away swing of Gary Putland in the second over. Tendulkar was also not at his fluent best, swinging and missing several wide deliveries. He handed Dan Christian a pasting in the fifth over, but struggled otherwise, nearly stumped in the sixth before being cleaned up by O'Brien, charging down the track and attempting a swing towards long-on but beaten by the lack of turn.
South Australia celebrated the dismissal wildly, but the celebrations weren't as big as when Borgas and Cooper turned it on at the death.
Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo