James Fiztpatrick | cricket20
Sachin Tendulkar scored another impressive half century to help the Mumbai Indians cruise to a 7 wicket victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Brabourne Stadium.
Set a target of 156 the Indians innings was trouble free as Tendulkar (71) and Saurabh Tiwary (30) built a second wicket partnership of 56 to help the home side get back to winning ways.
Having won the toss and elected to bat first the Knight Riders struggled on a batsman wicket and were reliant on Chris Gayle’s excellent innings of 75 to help Sourav Ganguly’s team reach 155-3.
The Indians run chase was pretty straight forward as Tendulkar played another wonderful innings proving Twenty20 cricket isn’t just crash, bang, wallop batting as critics claim it to be.
Tendulkar was outstanding with bat; he opened the innings and made it look easy. With breathless stroke play the little master found the boundary 10 times looking untroubled during his innings of 71 which he scored from 48 balls.
The Indians lost Shikhar Dhwan (23) Tiwary and Kieron Pollard (7) but with Tendulkar at the crease the home side’s victory was always going too guaranteed.
Having won the toss the Knight Riders batted first on a slow wicket which offered no assistants to the bowlers as Gayle and Sourav Ganguly built the foundations of a good opening partnership.
Having missed the Knight Riders 34 run defeat against the Rajasthan Royals on Saturday because of illness Gayle wasted little time getting into the action hitting Ryan McLaren for three consecutive fours in the second over.
The partnership grew steadily reaching 70 before Ganguly (31) was bowled by Harbhajan Singh in the 11th over. With only 9 overs to go Gayle increased the tempo with the Knight Riders well set for a score of 150 plus with 9 wickets in hand.
Gayle raced past his half century with consecutive fours in the 15th contributing 31 runs to a partnership of 50 with Owais Shah from just 32 balls as the score started to climb at a faster pace.
With Shah playing the perfect supporting role Gayle decided to attacks McLaren in the 17th over hitting the South African for 14 runs to set a launch pad for the last two overs.
Shah (31) fell in the last over after he was bowled by Zaheer Khan who gained revenge having just been hit for a boundary by the Englishmen.
Angelo Matthews (3) and Gayle saw out the last 4 balls of the innings to reach 155-3 setting the Indians a tricky run chase.