Tendulkar powers Mumbai Indians to 19-run victory
Mumbai Indians completed an all-round performance to see though Chennai Super Kings in the IPL opener. Setting up a challenging score to chase, Mumbai remained on top for most part of the match, reports Rakesh Thapliyal. See Special Coverage | Listen to previewcricket Updated: Apr 19, 2009 00:51 IST
With just two deliveries remaining, Sri Lanka paceman Lasith Malinga clean-bowled Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, prompting the Sahara Park scorer to flash "Account Closed" on the gigantic electronic screen.
And even before the last ball had been bowled, fireworks dazzled the sky and, with it, lit up Mumbai Indians' skipper Sachin Tendulkar's face. Not for nothing, Tendulkar was a happy man on Saturday what with his team beginning its campaign on a winning note this season after four successive losses in the inaugural season last year.
Tendulkar was the toast of the day as the "Man-of-the-match" slammed a 49-ball unbeaten 59, studded with seven boundaries to guide the Mumbai Indians to an easy 19-run victory.
There was hope for the Super Kings till the last over when Dhoni was at the crease, but instead of going for the big hits, the India team skipper preferred to score in ones and twos thus frittering away a decent opportunity to win.
Earlier, Dhoni, looking at the overcast conditions and a damp ground, decided to send Mumbai Indians in to bat. He looked justified also as his bowlers restricted the Mumbai Indians batsmen to 165 for seven in the allotted 20 overs. But the Super Kings batting was woeful on the day and folded up for 147 for 7.
It was a case of missed opportunities for the Super Kings as retired Australian opener Matthew Hayden dropped Tendulkar at slip when on 10 and then gifted away his own wicket on 44 just when a little bit of patience could have worked wonders for his team. At that point in time, Hayden and Andrew Flintoff were going great guns, having already stitched together a 52-run partnership for the third wicket.
Chennai Super Kings: Hayden, Patel, Raina, Badrinath, Dhoni, Flintoff, Thushara, Oram, Joginder, Gony, Ashwin
Mumbai Indians: Jayasuriya, Tendulkar, Dhawan, Duminy, Bravo, Nayar, PR Shah, Harbhajan, Z Khan, Malinga, Raje.