Bravo bowls Mumbai Indians to victory (Lead)

May 19th, 2008 - 8:26 am ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, May 18 (IANS) Venugopal Rao’s heroics once again went in vain as Dwayne Bravo helped Mumbai Indians beat Deccan Chargers by 25 runs in their Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here Sunday night. After scoring 178 for seven, the visitors survived an onslaught from Rao (57) and Ravi Teja (37) to restrict Chargers to 153 for seven in 20 overs. Bravo (3-24), who removed the duo to dash Chargers’ hopes of a win on homeground, was named the man of the match.

The Mumbai team led by Sachin Tendulkar thus registered their sixth consecutive win and consolidated their position for a semifinal berth, with four games to go.

The Deccan Chargers’ run chase started on a dramatic fashion with Adam Gilchrist (13) was dropped in the very first over. After hitting Ashish Nehra for a boundary, Gilchrist skied one but Rohan Raje could not hold on to the catch.

Shahid Afridi’s poor form with the bat continued. The opener sliced the ball high in the air and Dominic Thornely managed well to run backward from cover and take the catch.

Mumbai Indians were without their strike bowler Shaun Pollock, who was out with an injury, and Dilhara Fernando (2-38) rose to the occasion taking the wickets of Gilchrist and Rohit Sharma in consecutive balls to leave the Chargers rattled.

After the fall of Chamara Silva (17) in the 10th over, Chargers were precariously placed at 56 for four. But Rao (57 off 38) spearheaded another brilliant counterattack while Teja (37 off 27) gave him full support to bring the match alive.

Rao, who so often in the tournament has brought Deccan Chargers close to victory, stole the show once again displaying an array of shots, improvising and using the long handle to perfection.

Teja took the charge hitting Abhishek Nayar for a four and a six before Rao joined the party.

After Tendulkar dropped Teja, it seemed as if the home crowd was finally set to savour the victory of the home team. But Bravo, in the 18th over, struck twice, much to the relief of Mumbai Indians. Rao was out caught while trying for a six while Teja, after blasting his third six, was clean bowled off a slower ball.

Earlier, Sanath Jayasuriya (36 off 15 balls) of Mumbai Indians continued with his rampaging form and went after the bowling right from the start. The veteran Sri Lankan set the pace eary with a boundary in the very first ball of the innings, followed by a six in the same over of P. Vijaykumar.

The second over from Nuwan Zoysa proved more expensive as Jayasuriya slammed 19 runs. Chargers skipper Gilchrist made a brave move and gave an over to spinner Venugopal (2-25). Jayasuriya punched two boundaries but finally got out trying to hit another.

All the while Tendulkar was a mute spectator applauding Jayasuriya’s shots. The dismissal of Jayasuriya appeared to have derailed the innings. The run rate came down with Chargers bowling maintaining a disciplined line and giving nothing away.

Tendulkar tried to break the shackles but mistimed an Afridi (2-23) delivery and gave a simple catch to Silva. Afridi struck again two balls later trapping Dominic Thornely (98) leg before the wicket.

Robin Uthappa gave his wicket away to Rao with Afridi taking a sensational catch inches inside the boundary ropes and Mumbai Indians were reduced to 96/4.

Nayar (38) and Bravo (30) came together to play sensibly and stepped up the scoring rate.

Bravo launched the late charge spanking Afridi for 14 runs in the 16th over. Nayar took on Zoysa soon after and Mumbai were on their way to a competitive score.

R.P. Singh took three late wickets to put skids on the scoring of Mumbai Indians. He ousted both Nayar and Bravo and then bowled Pinal Shah.

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