Javinder Singh | cricket20
Rohit Sharma scored a vital half century to help the Mumbai Indians recover from the early loss of Sachin Tendulkar to help set the Chennai Super Kings a victory target of 165.
Sharma was (87) the stand out performer for the Indians, smashing 8 fours and 5 sixes during an impressive 48 ball innings which helped the home side reach 164-4.
Andrew Symonds (31) and Ambati Rayudu (27) offered vital support as the Indians recovered from 13-2 to set the Super Kings a tricky run chase.
Sharma and Rayudu emerged from Tendulkar’s shadow to lead the Indians recovery with a 3rd wicket partnership of 61 after the Indians skipper suffered a rare failure with the bat.
Having seen Tendulkar dismissed in just the 3rd over, Rayudu and Sharma saw off the threat of Ablie Morkel (19-1) before laying the foundations of a vital recovery for the Indians.
The pair carefully built their partnership up by picking up quick one’s and two’s while punishing any poor deliveries by dispatching them to the boundary.
Having survived a couple of run out chances the pairs luck finally ran out at the start of the 12th over when Rayudu (27) was stumped by MD Dhoni off the bowling of Suraj Randiv.
Despite the loss of Rayudu, Sharma continued his excellent innings to register his 9th IPL half century with a massive six off the bowling of Randiv which sailed into the third tier of the stand behind the long off boundary.
Sharma and new partner Symonds continued to attack the Super Kings bowlers as the runs started to flow which put the visitors under pressure for the first time in the game.
The pair took just 29 deliveries to bring up their 50 partnership before Sharma increased Dhoni’s worries by dispatching 3 sixes in the space of 5 deliveries to help the Indians reach 160-3 with 6 deliveries remaining.
Although Bollinger ended Sharma’s innings in the final over, Symonds and Kieron Pollard (0) were still able to add 4 more runs to leave the visitors facing a difficult run chase.
The Super Kings got off to an impressive start picking up two early wickets including that of Tendulkar to leave the Indians 13-2 after the home side had been put into bat by MS Dhoni.
Morkel and Doug Bollinger combined perfect line and length with out swinging deliveries from the very first ball of the game to leave the Indians on the back foot.
Morkel struck first to remove Rajagopal Sathish (0) who was caught by Srikkanth Anirudha at mid wicket before Tendulkar (5) top edged a bouncer from Bollinger through to Michael Hussey at first slip.