Mumbai Indians register first win in IPL

April 30th, 2008 - 1:12 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Kolkata, April 29 (IANS) An all-round performance from Dwayne Bravo saw Mumbai Indians register their first win in the Indian Premier League (IPL), defeating Kolkata Knight Riders comprehensively by seven wickets in a round robin match of the inaugural Twenty20 event at the Eden Gardens here Tuesday night. The visitors were undoubtedly the better side in all departments of the game. Without their inspirational skipper Sachin Tendulkar and vice-captain Harbhajan Singh, they displayed pure professionalism for the first time in five outings.

Bravo hit eight fours and one six en route to his 53-ball 64-run innings. He also picked up a wicket giving just 25 runs in his four overs.

In the company of Robin Uthappa, who made a run-a-ball 37, Bravo shared an unbeaten 113-run stand to give Mumbai Indians the much-eluded victory with nine balls to spare.

However, saving a paltry score of 137, the pace trio of Ajit Agarkar (23/1), Ishant Sharma (33/1) and Ashok Dinda (12/1) gave Kolkata Knight Riders the perfect start, picking up three early wickets to put Mumbai Indians under pressure at 25 for three after 4.1 overs.

Sanath Jayasuriya (18 of 10 balls), with three four and one six, showed momentary brilliance before Ishant cleaned him up and then the pressure of big stage subdued young Manish Pandey (0) as Dinda went through his defence.

But the Uthappa-Bravo duo ensured that they were no further scares for the visitors as they displayed a sensible approach and smashed the Knight Riders’ bowlers to all parts of the ground to reach the target.

Earlier, Jayasuriya registered the best figures of the tournament so far, picking up three wickets for 14 runs, to give the struggling Mumbai Indians a chance to open their account in the Twenty20 extravaganza.

Local lads Debabrata Das (29 of 20 balls) and Laxmi Ratan Shukla (40 of 22 balls) saved the Knight Riders from embarrassment, dragging the hosts to a 137 for eight wickets in their allotted 20 overs.

Though Jayasuriya was the pick of the bowlers, it was Mumbai Indians stand-in skipper Shaun Pollock (27/2), who lead from the front and stunned the packed Eden Gardens crowd when he picked up both the Knight Riders’ openers, captain Sourav Ganguly (four of two balls) and dangerous Brendon McCullum (one of two balls) in the very first over.

Ganguly’s woeful run in the tournament continued as just after hitting a boundary, he edged a wide Pollock delivery, which Jayasuriya grabbed with both hands. One ball later, McCullum was trapped in front of the wicket to reel the hosts at six for two.

Australian Ricky Ponting (19 of 31 balls), who is playing his last IPL match of this season, and debutant Debabrata Das tried to resurrect the Knight Riders innings with a 36 run stand of 34 balls. Das’ 20-ball 29 run cameo came to an end when he went for an upper cut off Dwayne Bravo (25 for one), only to see the ball go straight to the hands of Robin Uthappa at point.

In his brief stint at the crease, Das showed immense promise as he hit two boundaries of Ashish Nehra in the second over and then flicked Pollock for a huge six in the next. On the contrary, Ponting’s innings was a struggle.

The Ponting and David Hussey (17 of 20 balls) pair tried to give foundation to the Knight Riders’ innings for sometime, but Jayasuriya broke the partnership in the eleventh over picking up Hussey caught in the mid-on.

Ponting struggle at the crease then came to an end in the 13th over when a mix up with Mohammad Hafeez (two of six balls), found the Aussie short of the crease.

However, a late cameo from all-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla (40 of 22 balls) ensured Knight Riders reach a respectable total.

Shukla smashed two boundaries and an over boundary each off Bravo and Dilhara Fernando to score 44 runs in the last four overs.

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