With Jayasuriya’s ton, Mumbai beat Chennai by nine wickets(Lead)

May 15th, 2008 - 1:52 am ICT by admin  

Mumbai, May 15 (IANS) While Sachin Tendulkar failed to click on his debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL), his opening-wicket partner Sanath Jayasuriya shruged off his indifferent form, hit 114 off 48 deliveries, and guided Mumbai Indians to a nine-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings here Wednesday night. After opting to bowl, Mumbai Indians restricted Chennai Super Kings to 156 for the loss of six wickets, made possible only by some rearguard action from Subramaniam Badrinath (53) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (43 not out).

While the crowd rooting for Tendulkar (12), who made his debut in the IPL after missing seven matches, it was Jayasuriya who settled into his typical mode, slamming 11 sixes and nine fours in his knock. Tendulkar did try to get into the thick of things but the rustiness showed.

No bowler was spared by the Sri Lankan, but coming in for special treatment was Albie Morkel, who was slammed for a four and six by Jayasuriya in the second over and then for two sixes by Tendulkar and Jayasuriya in the fourth.

Manpreet Gony fared no better, Jayasuriya hitting three sixes off him in the fifth over in his typical style, over backward point, point and cover. The mayhem continued with Morkel, this time Jayasuriya hitting him for two sixes over deep backward square leg and slashing him for two fours on the off side.

Desperate for a breakthrough, Dhoni tossed the ball to hat-trick man Balaji in the seventh over and there was an immediate lull, only three runs coming from the over. The next over saw the first ray of hope for the Super Kings as Joginder Sharma stunned the Wankhede Stadium crowd into silence by castling Tendulkar.

However, with Jayasruriya in devastating form the end was predictable. That probably explained Dhoni’s reluctance to bring in Muttiah Muralitharan, who came in late but to little effect.

Jayasuriya finished off the match in a grand fashion, hitting 26 runs from the five deliveries from Chamara Kapugedera in the 13th over to give Mumbai Indians their fourth win in a row.

Earlier, a 95-run partnership between Dhoni and Badrinath helped Super Kings reach 156 after losing early wickets to be tottering at 46/4.

Openers Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan and Stephen Fleming failed to capitalise on promising starts and Suresh Raina and the promoted Kapugedera departed without bothering the scorers.

Vidyut struck form early, hitting Ashish Nehra for three fours in the second over before slashing Pollock towards mid-off for Rohan Raje to take a well-judged catch. The same over had Fleming surviving a dropped chance by Jayasuriya.

After Raina departed for one, edging Dwayne Bravo to Yogesh Takwale, Fleming kept the momentum going, slamming fours off Kulkarni and Bravo before he returned to pavillion, played on to Kulkarni.

Kapugedera went without opening his account and the onus was on Dhoni and Badrinath to stem the rot, which they did, but not to the extent that the total could pose a challenge to the home team.

The two also waited a bit, breaking free only in the 18th over, as Badrinath hit Raje for a four and six. The next over saw Dhoni hoisting Bravo for a six before Badrinath reached his half century in style, hitting a six off the backfoot from a full toss delivery.

However, Bravo had the last laugh, coming off with a super acrobatic effort off his own bowling to dismiss Badrinath. Dhoni and new batsman Morkel had a boundary each from Kulkarni’s last over before Morkel was caught by Uthappa trying to play Dhaval Kulkarni over long-off.

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