By Babu Ram:NEW DELHI: Mumbai Indians pulled off a thrilling seven-wicket victory over Pune Warriors in their IPL clash at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Click here to watch Mumbai Indians vs Pune Warriors India at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai
It was one of the rare games where a side chasing is in full control despite the match going into the final over and the final ball.
A walk in the park for Mumbai and they have bounced back in style after the loss to Kochi.
Sachin played the sheet-anchor once again and though he fell, the others took them home. Mumbai played at their own pace and the game dawdled along after Rayudu fell. Pune needed to take wickets early on, once they failed to do so, the game was all over.
After the early loss of James Franklin, Sachin Tendulkar and Ambati Rayudu steadied the Mumbai Indian innings.
Mumbai Indians lost their first wicket early in pursuit of 119 runs to win against the Warriors.
James Franklin (6) got forward and just chipped the leg stump full ball down mid on as Mithun Manhas took a simple catch.
Robin Uthappa smashed a quick-fire 45 but top-order of Pune Warriors India put up a pathetic display and were shot out for 118 in 17.2 overs against Mumbai.
Uthappa cracked a six and six fours in his 27-ball knock to help Pune rally from a sorry-looking 17 for four and get past the 100-run mark which may not be enough on the good batting track.
The initial damage was done by Assam seamer Abu Nechim Ahmed, who replaced an injured Harbhajan Singh in the playing XI today.
He took two wickets in three balls in the fourth over before Munaf Patel also grabbed a couple in three balls to leave Pune on the ropes at 17 for four.
Uthappa's cameo ended, courtesy an outstanding catch in the deep by West Indian Kieron Pollard.
Although there weren't any big partnerships but Uthappa was involved two such efforts which yielded 35 each. First one was for the fifth wicket with Mohnish Mishra (12) and the next for the sixth wicket with Murali Kartik (11).
Munaf Patel was easily the pick of the bowlers for Mumbai, ending up with three for 8 in 14 deliveries.
Abu Nechim grabbed two for 13 while Ali Murtaza made ample amends for his costly 19th over during the defeat against Kochi Tuskers Kerala last week by opening the bowling and returning with figures of two for 18.
Warriors, who are eager to get back to winning ways after losing to Delhi Daredevils three days back, made a reasonable start after opting to bat when openers Jesse Ryder and Tim Paine put on 16 with the former being the aggressor.
But things went horribly wrong in the fourth and fifth overs when they lost four wickets in the space of just 7 balls, including that of in-form opener Ryder for 12.
Former India U-19 pacer Abu Nechim, came on to bowl the third over was the unlikely hero.
Ryder mistimed a pull-shot as Nechim fed him with short stuff and Tendulkar took a smart overhead catch running backwards.
If that wasn't enough, Mithun Manhas (0) followed suit when he edged one to Ambati Rayudu who kept today instead of Davy Jacobs.
From 17 for two, it suddenly became 17 for four with Tim Paine (2) and skipper Yuvraj Singh (0) were sent back by Munaf. While Paine got one that climbed pretty fast clipping the off-stump as he tried to pull, Yuvraj had minimal footwoork as he nicked it to give Rayudu his second catch.
Uthappa, who came in at the fall of the second wicket then started a repair job with Mohnish Mishra.
Uthappa hit a four and six off Pollard to provide some momentum to the team's total however Mishra who hit two boundaries was holed out in the deep off Ali Murtaza's bowling with Warriors tottering at 52 for five.
Then it was Kartik who joined Uthappa as they added another 35 runs to take the total to 87 before Kartik chipped a fuller delivery from Malinga to Andrew Symonds at mid-on.
Uthappa who looked good enough and deserved a half century was finally gone when he tried to hit Murtaza but Pollard's acrobatic effort cut short his innings.
At 98 for seven, it was difficult for the Warriors to put up a respectable T20 score. Leggie Rahul Sharma (13, 9 balls) hit a six and four off James Franklin to take the score past 100 but Munaf got his third wicket as he was caught bu Murtaza at deep point.
The worst part about Pune's batting was they failed to utilise 16 deliveries in the end which could have meant another 25 runs if they had wickets in hand.
Pune Warriors: Jesse Ryder, Tim Paine(wk), Mithun Manhas, Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh(c), Mohnish Mishra, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Murali Kartik, Rahul Sharma, Shrikant Wagh, Alfonso Thomas
Mumbai Indians: Sachin Tendulkar (c), Ambati Rayudu (wk), Abu Nechim, Rohit Sharma, James Franklin, Andrew Symonds, Kieron Pollard, Rajagopal Sathish, Lasith Malinga, Ali Murtaza, Munaf Patel