Mumbai muscle in evidence

Jayasuriya (second from left), a scourge of many international teams, was clearly the man of the moment for Mumbai Indians. He had three for 14 in four overs, two catches and a run out.-S. PATRONOBISH Jayasuriya (second from left), a scourge of many international teams, was clearly the man of the moment for Mumbai Indians. He had three for 14 in four overs, two catches and a run out.

When Mumbai Indians decided to go into the match without Tendulkar and with three new faces, Ganguly must have been relieved. On top of it he won the toss and decided to bat on a pitch that looked full of runs. His success story ended there! Over to S. Sabanayakan.

A day before the DLF-IPL match against Mumbai Indians, Sourav Ganguly remarked that Sachin Tendulkar should have been resting in his Mumbai home instead of travelling to Kolkata to be part of the team that was to play Knight Riders. The comment, made in a lighter vein at a function, had many connotations. The presence of Tendulkar was such that even without knowing whether the Little Master would be availabile, the rival captain seemed uncomfortable!

When Mumbai Indians decided to go into the match without Tendulkar and with three new faces, Ganguly must have been relieved. On top of it he won the toss and decided to bat on a pitch that looked full of runs.

His success story ended there! Mumbai captain Shaun Pollock rocked Knight Riders by removing the openers, Ganguly and Brendon McCullum, in the first over. The normally vociferous Eden Gardens crowd was silenced or at least subdued. Captain of the all-conquering Australian team, Ricky Ponting, twice out first ball in three matches, and debutant Debabrata Das, had a big role to play, but it was Das who outclassed his senior partner in stroke-play before getting out.

Now the two Aussies, Ponting and David Hussey, were together during overs seven to 12 and the duo could muster only 34 runs! Talk about Aussie tenacity and methodology! The old wily fox that he is, Sanath Jayasuriya came on during the phase and checked the flow of runs with intelligent bowling and his third over — the team’s 14th — was a wicket maiden! If Kolkata Knight Riders’ total reached some respectability, it was because of Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla’s quickfire 40 (22b, 4x4, 2x6).

Jayasuriya, a scourge of many international teams, was clearly the man of the moment for Mumbai Indians. He had three for 14 in four overs, two catches and a run out. Dhawal Kulkarni had none for 15 in three overs and added to Pollock’s opening burst this clearly put the home team on the mat.

There were early successes for Kolkata Knight Riders with Agarkar and Ishant Sharma providing the breakthroughs, removing Rahane and Jayasuriya respectively. Sharma, having been hit for a six and a four by the Sri Lankan, had sweet revenge with an express ball that sent the Lankan’s off-stump cartwheeling. Another wicket, that of India under-19 player Manish Pandey, sent the crowd into raptures before Robin Uthappa and Dwayne Bravo put to rest the home team’s chances of victory. Bravo, promoted in the batting order, played an excellent innings. Gutsy and calculative, the West Indian made the normally aggressive Uthappa look out of place. Clean hitting and intelligent placing were Bravo’s hallmarks. The two put on an unbroken 113 runs for the fourth wicket to carry Mumbai Indians to its first victory in the tournament. If Bravo (64 not out, 53b, 8x4, 1x6) gave the finishing touches to the highly cherished win, Jayasuriya walked away with the Man of the Match.

The Scores

Kolkata Knight Riders v Mumbai Indians, Eden Gardens, Kolkata, April 29, 2008.

Result: Mumbai Indians won by seven wickets.

Kolkata Knight Riders 137 for eight in 20 overs (D. Das 29, L. Shukla 40 n.o., S. Pollock 2-27, Jayasuriya 3-14) lost to Mumbai Indians 138 for three in 18.4 overs (R. Uthappa 37 n.o., D. Bravo 64 n.o.)