Redbacks fight back stuns sloppy Indians
Tom Cooper scored 12 runs from the final over of a pulsating game to seal a stunning 5 wicket victory over the Mumbai Indians who conceded 48 runs from the final 4 overs to slump to an agonising defeat.
The 23 year old Dutchman remained calm to seal a stunning victory which leaves the Indians on the verge of elimination after losing their opening two games.
Faced with a victory target of 181 Michael Klinger and Daniel Harris started off the run chase slowly but the openers were helped along the way by the Indians who put down two easy catches which allowed the pair to build a substantial opening partnership.
The first lifeline was handed to the Redbacks by Sachin Tendulkar who put down Harris out at square leg after the opener had top edge a delivery from Lasith Malinga.
After only scoring 27 runs from the first 5 overs, the pair tried to break the shackles by targeting spinner Ali Murtaza who conceded 15 runs to get the Redbacks run chase back on track.
With the runs starting to flow Harris started to hit out and was lucky to remain at the crease after he was dropped by Saurabh Tiwary at the start of the 7th over much to the displeasure of bowler, Harbhajan Singh.
The Indians were now feeling the pressure and this was now evident in the field with a number of fumbles by the fielders as Harris and Klingers’ partnership reached 69 after 10th overs.
Despite the steady reply the Redbacks had started to fall behind the required run rate but Harris launched a fresh attack when Dwayne Bravo came in to bowl the 11th over dispatching him for a boundary and two sixes.
Kieron Pollard suffered a similar fate conceding 16 runs two overs later before Murtaza came back into the attack to make the vital breakthrough to dismiss Harris (56) after he was caught by DP Duminy to end an opening partnership of 112.
With his partner gone; Klinger (50) tried to continue the attack but he perished 6 deliveries later after he was caught by Bravo out on the long-on boundary after he tried to dispatch Malinga for a six.
It was a vital breakthrough for the Indians who took control of the game with Murtaza picking up his second wicket of the night to dismiss Graham Manou (10) who was caught by Tiwary out on the deep backward square leg boundary.
The double breakthrough left the Redbacks needing another 54 runs from just 28 deliveries and with two new batsmen at the crease it should have been game over but Daniel Christian (16), Cameron Borgas (14) and Tom Cooper (19) lead the fight back to leave the Australian’s needing 11 runs from the final over.
With the pressure mounting Harbhajan Singh was called on to bowl the final over but Cooper remained calm dispatching the spinner for a massive six from the second delivery of the over to leave the Redbacks needing 3 runs with victory being secured with a cover drive through mid-wicket for a boundary.
The Indians came into the game with a lot to prove after their shock 7 run defeat against the Highveld Lions on Friday night at the Wanderers Stadium.
The pressure was also on Tendulkar despite his blistering 42 ball 69; thanks to some questionable tactics from the skipper which contributed to the Indians defeat.
Having won the toss Tendulkar decided to bat first, hoping the inclusion of Tiwary and Dwyane Bravo in the batting line up would help boost his team’s chances of claiming victory.
Tendulkar’s decision to bat first didn’t pay off though for the Indians who lost Shikhar Dhawan (2) at the end of the second over after he edged a delivery from Gary Putland through to wicket keeper Graham Manou.
The skipper responded brilliantly to the loss; dispatching Daniel Christian for two boundaries and a massive six over fine leg during the 5th over as he looked to break the shackled imposed by the Redbacks.
His aggressive nature proved to be his downfall though an over later when he charged down the wicket attempting to smash Aaron O’Brien over mid-on but the skipper failed to make contact with the ball which crashed into the stumps to leave the Indians 35-2.
With Tendulkar (20) gone the Indians needed Ambati Rayudu and JP Duminy to stay together at the crease but their partnership only contributed 12 runs before O’Brien struck again to remove Duminy (3).
The middle order batsmen departed without really troubling the Redbacks but Rayudu looked composed at the crease and with new partner Tiwary beside him the Indians were well placed to start their recovery.
Although he only added 38 runs to the total Rayudu gave the Indians innings new urgency before he was dismissed by Cullen Bailey at the start of the 13th over.
Tiwary responded to the loss by smashing the next delivery for a six over long-off before launching a blitz two overs later which saw him dispatch O’Brien for three consecutive sixes during an over which cost the Redbacks 25 runs.
To their credit the Australian’s struck back with the first ball of the next over which was bowled by Shaun Tait. Having been brought back into the attack Tait dismissed Tiwary (44) who tried to smash the ball over Callum Ferguson at mid-off but the fielder plucked the ball out of the air to leave the Indians 137-5.
With Tiwary back in the dugout, Kieron Pollard, who up until now had been a spectactor at the non strikers end took control of the game; launching a short ball from Tait out of the ground much to the delight of the crowd at Kingsmead.
The big hitting West Indian enjoyed a quick fire 6th wicket partnership of 33 with compatriot Dwayne Bravo before Pollard (36) was dismissed by Christian at the start of the final over.
Christian struck again to remove Bravo (22) but the damaged had already been done by Tiwary and Pollard who helped the Indians reach 180-7.