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Monday, March 29, 2010


What a match it was ! Deccan were the favourite, while the form favoured Mumbai Indians.  T 20 could be the violent ways one batsman changing the course of the match with lusty hitting. Mumbai had a good start and were coasting along at 64 for in 7.3 overs when Dwayne Bravo held out to RP who removed the Dhoni clone – Saurabh Tiwary in the same over.

A great drama was to unfold at the great looking DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. This stadium was inaugurated on 4th Mar 2008 and was to host the One dayer against Australia on Nov 11,2009 when rain played the spoil sport for sports lovers and Insurers. This stadium at DY Patil Vidyanagar Campus, Nerul, Navi Mumbai is state of art with facilities which include tennis, badminton courts and swimming pool. Uniquely, this has cantilever roof eliminating the pillar support thus providing the spectators unobstructed view of match from any place.

Coming back, Mumbai Indians which boasted of Sachin, Bravo, Tiwary, Rayudu, Satish & Pollard were struggling at 119 for 7 with close to 3 overs left and one expected them to fold under 125. Bravo promoted up in the order lifted Ojha’s first over for a huge six and followed with a straight flat batted hit across the fence. Things looked ominous. After quick fall of wickets, Sachin slowed down and appeared in control of things but was out making 55 off 43. I expected Rajagopalan Satish to play a good innings but he disappointed with a sweep to backward square leg and Pollard top edged a pull. Chargers were steam rolling and looked closing the match – most of the times Harbhajan never looks like a batsmen with ugly swipes and intended pulls. Not many take him seriously as a batsman. With hardly 20 balls to go, Mumbai Indians were expected to fold up. But look at the series of events that followed. In 18 deliveries he turned the game upside down with sweet timed lusty hits. Later he revealed that he played with Sachin’s bats – would have hit with any other timber in hand it appeared though.

That was not all over. He came back to bowl and with his second ball removed the dangerous Adam Gilchrist caught by Sachin for a nought and the chase was never on. Lasith Malinga took over with another controlled aggression conceding measly 12 and picking up 3 wickets to floor Chargers down.

When one expected fire works from Bravo, Pollard, Tiwary and like and when all failed, least expected to deliver was Bhaji. He dominated all the bowlers (infact faced Symonds, Kemar Roach and Rohit) and Jaskaran Singh floored him with a beamer – narrowly missing the head. The younger Singh apologised and ran down after the innings to explain things further.

In the end it was a comprehensive 41 run victory for the Mumbai Indians and here is Harbhajan’s short knock.

With regards
S Sampathkumar.


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