Aaron Moores | cricket20
Sachin Tendulkar and Ambati Rayudu both scored half centuries to help the Mumbai Indians cruise to a comprehensive 23 run victory over the Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Tendulkar and Rayudu led the way both scoring 51 runs while Kieron Pollard enjoyed a cameo innings of 20 towards the end of the innings to help the Indians set the Kings XI a run chase of 160.
The Kings XI run chase got off to a disastrous start when they lost Adam Gilchrist (0) from just the 5th delivery of the game after the skipper was trapped LBW by Harbhajan Singh.
Paul Valthaty and Shaun Marsh struggled against the Indians bowlers with Valthaty in particular ineffective, taking 25 deliveries to score his first boundary of the innings as the pair took 48 balls to record a 50 partnership.
With the run rate increasing Valthaty (33) finally started to show glimpses of the impressive form he displayed earlier in the tournament when he smashed Andrew Symonds for a missive six over the bowlers head in the 11th over.
The fight back didn’t last long though thanks to Kieron Pollard who took a simple catch out on the boundary after Valthaty tried to repeat the shot from Symonds next delivery.
With the break through made the Indians increased the pressure on the visitors with the wickets of David Hussey (2) and Dinesh Karthik (1) to leave the Kings XI 89-4 at the end of the 14th over.
Although Marsh (61) completed a well deserved half century the Kings XI continued to lose wicket at regular intervals to slip to their third straight defeat.
Despite losing Davy Jacobs (10) early on the Indians made a steady start to the game thanks to Tendulkar and Rayudu who shared a 2nd wicket stand of 95.
The pair slowly built the innings before Rayudu took control of the game dispatching Ryan Harris for two boundaries in the 9th over before Praveen Kumar was treated with the same contempt conceding two boundaries and a six.
Rayudu completed an impressive half century with a boundary in the 15th over before his innings was brought to and end by Dinesh Karthik who took a brilliant diving catch out on the deep midwicket boundary to give Piyush Chawla the important break through.
Tendulkar recorded his own half century two overs later, the 10th of his IPL career before Ryan Harris struck back to remove the Indians skipper with the very next delivery leave the home side 129-3 with just under 4 overs remaining.
Pollard briefly thrilled the crowd with a cameo innings of 20 which included two sixes before he was caught by Paul Valthaty at the end of the 18th over bowled Piyush Chawla.
Rohit Sharma (18) quickly followed as the Kings XI fought back during the final couple of over to restrict the Indians to a total of 159-5 which the visitors will feel is a chaseable total.