Tuskers trample Sachin’s home run
Brendon McCullum, Ravindra Jadeja and Brad Hodge, especially the Indian all-rounder who finished things off with an over to spare, made sure Kerala will rejoice at the end of the New Year's Day. Amol Karhadkar reports. IPL's Indian centurions | Scorecardindia Updated: Apr 16, 2011 02:17 IST
With the state of Kerala and the Malayalee community celebrating Vishu, the New Year day, they would have hoped for the year to start with their Indian Premier League (IPL) team's maiden victory on Friday.
And they couldn't have asked for a better festive celebrations than what they could have hoped for. First, they witnessed not just Kerala's, but India's favourite son Sachin Tendulkar score his first Twenty20 century.
And once the Mumbai Indians piled on 182 for two on the board, the Kochi supporters, in a minority at the Wankhede stadium would have thought they would have to cherish the master's knock and endure Kochi's third straight loss. But that fears were banished in style.
If a Herculean task was ahead if they were to overshadow the master's brilliance, Brendon McCullum and skipper Mahela Jayawardene achieved that. Once Rohit Sharma dropped the Kiwi off the very first ball of their chase at slip, off Lasith Malinga, the 'keeper and his skipper exploded.McCullum, Ravindra Jadeja and Brad Hodge, especially the Indian all-rounder who finished things off with an over to spare, made sure Kerala will rejoice at the end of the New Year's Day.
That said, nothing should be taken away from Tendulkar's maiden century in Twenty20 cricket, which made him only the second Indian to score hundreds in all three forms of the game, earlier in the evening.
His first scoring shot, a gentle push off RP Singh in the first over down the wicket that raced to the boundary behind the bowler, hinted it could be a special day. But with Ambati Rayudu matching the master shot for shot, a century looked improbable, with the master unbeaten on 82 with two overs remaining in the innings.
But a boundary and a six off Thisara Perera in the penultimate over raised hopes. An overthrow off the last ball of the 19th over helped Tendulkar run a brace. Rayudu was quick to give Tendulkar the strike off the first ball of the last over. A dot ball was followed by a fuller delivery with a slinging action by R Vinay Kumar, but it raced through covers to the boundary.
Six runs off three balls was the target. And it was achieved with little trouble.