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The great escape

cricket Updated: Sep 27, 2011 07:26 IST
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
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The Mumbai Indians nearly made a hash of a two-figure target here on Monday before Yuzvendra Chahal hit two off the last ball of the match to beat Trinidad and Tobago by one wicket in the Champions League T20. It was their second last-over win on the trot.

Ravi Rampaul led a fighting bowling performance from T&T, taking three wickets in his first three overs and bowling a great penultimate over. But his efforts were in vain.

Ambati Rayudu played a good hand for the Mumbai Indians, though he fell in the last over and could not finish the job. That was left to Chahal.

A good fight had appeared to be in the offing from the moment Bravo, down on his left knee, hit Harbhajan Singh's first ball of the match high over the mid-wicket boundary to get the fireworks going. Eventually, though, the fight and the fireworks came from a different source.

The match appeared over as a contest when the 2009 finalists collapsed to be all out for 98 in only 16.2 overs, T&T's lowest ever T20 score. However, their bowlers had other ideas.

Bhajji shines
Earlier, it was symbolic that Harbhajan, leading the Mumbai Indians in the tournament in the absence of Sachin Tendulkar, bowled Bravo as the left-hander went for another big hit and missed. T&T had lost the top half of their batting for 64 before the halfway stage of their allotted 20 overs.

A couple of amateurish dismissals best exemplified T&T's plight. Lendl Simmons ruined the good impression made by his clean hitting when he forgot to ground his bat and got run out. Ravi Rampaul, too, was caught short of his ground while impersonating the headless chicken.

The Mumbai Indians dropped a couple of tough chances: Harbhajan at extra cover and Lasith Malinga off his own bowling gave Jason Mohammed two lives. But R Sathish and Chahal took a couple of excellent catches in the deep. Harbhajan finished with three wickets.

Mumbai Indians' opener-cum-wicketkeeper Davey Jacobs missed the match after “stretching his hips” while playing a forward defensive stroke in the nets on Sunday. Jacobs had had to be stretchered off after the incident.

Tendulkar knows his presence alone can make the spectators favourably disposed towards the Mumbai Indians. Although out of the tournament with a toe injury, Tendulkar was in Bangalore for Monday's match and was greeted with loud cheers from the couple of thousand fans who turned up. Photographers scurried for pictures as Karnataka State Cricket Association president Anil Kumble and secretary Javagal Srinath met him inside the boundary line.

Tendulkar joined the team in Chennai on the day of their first match (against CSK).