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Challengers get Rayudu shock

Skipper Sachin Tendulkar and young Ambati Rayudu clobbered the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling as title contenders Mumbai Indians cruised to a nine wicket victory in an Indian Premier League match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports. Scorecard

cricket Updated: Apr 13, 2011 03:21 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal

At its inception, the Indian Premier League was sold to the Indian public as a tournament where equal importance will be on the young local talent as on building star value.

Somewhere down the line, the idea of unearthing new talent got lost amidst the emphasis on cultivating brand image and winning at all costs.

Among the few success stories of the tournament have been Ambati Rayudu and Saurabh Tiwary. The IPL can genuinely boast of giving the duo the platform to make their marks. The two forged a strong partnership and added steel to the Mumbai Indians middle-order in the third edition, powering them to the final.

Tiwary gained recognition with some fine performances and went on to earn his India stripes, while the tournament has given Rayudu's career a new lease of life.

The batsman from Hyderabad was earmarked for bigger things right from his under-19 days but due to petty local politics, his career never really took off. Disillusioned, he became a rebel and joined the Indian Cricket League.

It seemed to be the end of his promising career before a call from Sachin Tendulkar with an offer to join Mumbai Indians turned it all around for him. He oozed class during another sparkling knock against Royal Challengers here on Tuesday. If he continues to dazzle in such fashion, even his India dream may not be far off.

The former India U-19 captain matched Tendulkar stroke for stroke as the two made a mockery of their 140-run chase with an unbeaten 110-run partnership, taking their team home by nine wickets.

It speaks for Tiwary's prowess that the Mumbai team is still sore at losing him to Royal Challengers in the auction. And he showed once again why Sachin Tendulkar and Co rate him so highly. Playing in his new team's red and golden colours, Tiwary played a short but powerful cameo against his former team. In the 10 balls (16 runs) he faced, the long-haired batsman did enough to impress.

Walking in to bat with just 3.3 overs left, and his team feeling the pressure at 112 for four, Tiwary showed no signs of nerves as he and Tillakaratne Dilshan took the Royal Challengers score to some respectability. The final flourish was the only period when RCB enjoyed some domination.

It's been impressive how Tendulkar has gone on to convert each of the few weaknesses he had, into strengths. After two disappointing seasons with the MI, he turned things around as a captain too, leading them to the final last season.

On Tuesday, his authority as a leader was to the fore as he marshaled his resources expertly to keep the RCB batsmen in check after winning the toss and electing to field. He backed his bowlers with imaginative field placements.