Bangalore Royal Challengers edge past Mumbai Indians

April 21st, 2008 - 2:05 am ICT by admin  

(Match report)

Mumbai, April 21 (IANS) South Africa’s Mark Boucher hammered an unbeaten 39 to ensure that Bangalore Royal Challengers defeated Mumbai Indians by five wickets with two balls to spare for their first win in the Indian Premier League here Sunday night. Boucher smashed four boundaries and two sixes and was involved in a crucial 55-run partnership for the fifth wicket with compatriot Jacques Kallis (25, 24 balls, 1×6) to script a thrilling win at a fully packed and noisy Wankhede Stadium.

Mumbai Indians, opting to bat after winning the toss and crucially without an injured Sachin Tendulkar, posted 165 for six wickets in 20 overs and Bangalore Royal Challengers scored 166 for five wickets in 19.4 overs.

The win came as a big relief for Rahul Dravid’s Bangalore side, which had lost their opening match to Kolkata Knight Riders at home Friday.

The match had all the ingredients of a tantalising contest - serious fight, some good batting, accurate bowling, electric fielding and acrobatic catching.

The match also threw up a few injuries. Mumbai Indians’ Australian import Dominic Thornely had not even opened his account when he missed a Zaheer Khan express delivery and the ball hit his nose. He started bleeding and was immediately taken off the field.

When Bangalore batted, their West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul injured himself when he hit a ball straight into his exposed right knee. Having hit a boundary off the previous ball, the left-handed opener tried to repeat the act but the ball crashed against his knee and he fell on to the turf like a hot potato.

Although Chanderpaul was in acute pain, he carried on with the help of Vikart Kohli as his runner. But only off the third ball after the injury he flicked it straight into the hands of Abhishek Nayar and departed limping.

Mumbai clearly missed the experienced and the aura of Tendulkar, who skipped the game due to a groin injury. His absence meant that Harbhajan, who had little experience of leading, captained the side.

Robin Uthappa was the top scorer for Mumbai with an innovative 48 (38 balls, 5×4s, 1×6). He played some unconventional shots, particularly the one for which he went down on his knees and directed the ball over the leg slip, but with great results.

Uthappa was involved in the only substantial partnership of the innings. He and youngster Pinal Shah scored 51 off 7.5 overs at a rate of 6.51 runs per over.

Pacer Balachandra Akhil finally got rid of Uthappa by having him stumped by Boucher.

Opener Sanath Jayasuriya scored 29 off 16 balls (5×4s, 1×6) while Shaun Pollock made 28 not out (11 balls, 3×4s, 2×6s).

Pacers Zaheer Khan and Balachandra Akhil bagged two wickets apiece.

Unlike the hosts, all the top order batsmen Bangalore batsmen chipped in with useful contributions.

Openers Dravid and Chanderpaul raised 37 in just five overs and the captain was also involved in a 31-run stand with New Zealander Ross Taylor (23, 12 balls1×4, 2×6s) for the second wicket to build on the good work.

Kallis also batted well for his 25 and Kohli chipped in with a 14-ball 23 (3×4s, 1×6) before Boucher in the company of B. Akhil sealed the win.

Harbhajan took two for 36.

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