David Miller - 101 from 38 balls
David Miller's unbeaten 101 from 38 balls helped Punjab pull of a miraculous six-wicket win over star-studded Bangalore on Monday.
Punjab's batsmen, early on, struggled to cope with the mounting run-rate in their 191-run chase. They lost their openers, within the first five overs, with the score on 25. David Hussey, their captain, and wicketkeeper Gurkeerat Singh, added a few more to the tally before crumpling under the pressure, leaving their side tottering at 64 for four in ten overs.
Their dismissal brought Miller and Rajagopal Satish to the crease. Miller played his first five overs cautiously and hit just one four and one six. He broke the shackles, in the 14th over, where he hit Vinay Kumar for two fours and a six. That was just the start, though, as Miller ripped apart RP Singh, in the 15th over, and clobbered him for two sixes and three fours.
Ravi Rampaul disappeared for a six and a four in the 16th, and Kumar was sent packing for the same in the 17th. Punjab went into the last over 18 shy of the target and Miller five-short of a ton. Satish laid into Chris Gayle, in the 20th, and hit him for a six and two-fours from the first four balls. He then snuck a single and gave Miller the strike with two needed for a win and five for his first ton of the tournament.
Miller, ensured he got both, as he dispatched Gayle's sixth ball for a huge six over the sight screen.
"I just tried to enjoy myself and play the best cricket I can," Miller said. "The idea was to get myself in, first 10-15 balls and if it was there go for it. We needed 12 plus an over."
"I was seeing the ball nicely. I missed a few balls to start with, and was lucky to get a few boundaries with that, and obviously getting dropped. So, ride the luck when it was there. I was feeling good though."
Punjab's captain Hussey said that the win augers well for the team's confidence. "The morale is good...seeing innings like that gives the batsmen lots of confidence. At the same time, nothing should be taken away from the bowlers, I think they did a superb job."
Sachin Tendulkar - 48 from 28 balls
Sachin Tendulkar finally came good, with a 28-ball 48, to help Mumbai beat defending champions Kolkata by 65 runs on Tuesday.
Tendulkar, who struggled for consistency throughout the tournament so far, started cautiously in front of his home crowd. He took four overs to switch gears but, once he did, it was a treat for Mumbai's supporters.
Tendulkar smacked Ryan McLaren, in the fourth over, for five-straight boundaries. The onslaught set the tone and helped Mumbai raise the run rate, which was low to begin with, to over eight.
Tendulkar's innings was interrupted - in the ninth over - by a power failure in one of the lighting towers. Mumbai's talisman had reached 29 off 17 balls when the players left the field due to the problem.
Tendulkar continued motoring along, after the lights came back on, and struck boundaries regularly. He added 19 more off 11 balls before falling to Rajat Bhatia in the 13th over. Contributions from Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Karthik and Captain Rohit Sharma helped Mumbai post a respectable 170 in their 20 overs.
Kolkata's batsmen, who've struggled for a most of the series, failed to leave an impact again. They crumpled to 105.
"When you're striking the ball well, you be aggressive and make the most of it," Tendulkar said after winning the Man-of-the-match award. "I thought, if I'm striking the ball well, I should be more aggressive."
"If you look at the whole season, I've not been able to spend much time in the middle. Every day you can't find the middle of the bat. But I'm in love with this game. The passion for the game is very much there."
Sharma said that the team must keep the intensity high, going ahead, in the tournament. "It's going really well so far. I don't want to relax. It's still four games to go, so not taking it easy," Sharma said. "He (Tendulkar) got us the start we needed and got us the target we needed. I was happy with the total."
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