Tendulkar carries Mumbai Indians to win in IPL opener

April 18th, 2009 - 10:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Cape Town, April 18 (IANS) The brilliance of Sachin Tendulkar coupled with tight bowling saw Mumbai Indians collect full points from their opening Indian Premier League (IPL) game against last year’s finalists Chennai Super Kings here Saturday.
Tendulkar’s unbeaten 59 off 49 balls enabled Mumbai reach 165 for seven in 20 overs overcoming a difficult period to start with at the Newlands Stadium. Then Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga (3-15), Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (1-15) and Dwayne Bravo (1-27) of the West Indies restricted Chennai Super Kings to 146 for seven.

It was the right way to start the season for Mumbai Indians unlike last year when they lost four matches on the trot and finished fifth.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to bowl under overcast conditions after a delayed start appeared spot on as Tendulkar and his opening partner Sanath Jayasuriya (26) lived dangerously in an unconvincing start.

Jayasuriya played and missed but a few of his edges flew off to the boundaries as Tendulkar at the other end readied himself to anchor the innings. Jayasuriya also survived a run out attempt before he pushed Thilan Tushara to Mathew Hayden at mid-wicket to end the 39-run opening stand.

The ball was not coming to the bat easily but Tendulkar placed his innings well while Shikhar Dhawan struggled to get his 22.

Tendulkar was lucky to get a life when he was dropped on 10 by Matthew Hayden at first slip off IPL debutant Andrew Flintoff.

It turned out to be an unforgettable debut for Flintoff, who was on the receiving end of Abhishek Nayar’s onslaught. Nayar made a quickfire 35 off just 14 balls and hit Flintoff for three sixes in a 22-run over.

While chasing, Chennai Super Kings suffered the first set-back as Malinga removed opener Parthiv Patel with the second ball of the innings.

Matthew Hayden (44) played a careful knock but as the innings progressed he found his touch. Hayden smashed young medium-pacer Raje for three successive fours and hit Harbhajan for a straight six. The retired Australian opener perished while chasing a wide Jayasuriya delivery to Zaheer Khan.

Flintoff (24) and Dhoni (36) tried their best but Malinga’s disciplined performance did the trick for Mumbai Indians.

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