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Indians crash out despite impressive victory

The Mumbai Indians hopes of reaching the Twenty20 Champions League knock out stages were ended despite their 2 run victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The win see’s the Indians move on to 4 points but with a lower run rate than both the Royals Challengers and Highveld Lions, who meet on Tuesday night at the Wanderers the Indians are unable to leap frog either team into second place in Group B.

The defeat for the Royals Challengers leaves them going into Tuesday nights game knowing only a victory will seal their place in the Twenty20 Champions League semi finals.

Faced with a higher then expected run chase Rahul Dravid and Jacques Kallis got the Royal Challengers replay off to a steady start with the experienced pair building an encouraging opening partnership.

Dravid lead the way dispatching 4 boundaries in a partnership of 41 before Kallis (15) was trapped LBW by Abu Nechim who made the breakthrough with just his 2nd delivery of the game.

With Kallis gone Robin Uthappa (6) came to the crease but his time out in the middle only lasted 5 deliveries before he was caught by Shikhar Dhawan out on the deep backward square leg boundary just a delivery after JP Duminy dropped Uthappa at extra cover.

With the tension mounting Ross Taylor added just 9 runs before Dwayne Bravo struck at the start of the 11th over to put the Indians on top in a must win game as the Royal Challengers fell to 72-3.

The loss off Taylor left the Royal Challengers needing another 94 runs from just 60 deliveries but more importantly for the Indians they needed to strike again if they were to have any hopes of recording a big victory.

Dravid, now supported by Cameron White completed an impressive half century but having taken 40 balls to reach his milestone the required run rate had now increased to over 10 an over.

The Royal Challengers hopes of victory took a further blow when White (7) was bowled by a perfect yorker from Harbhajan Singh at the end of the 14th over to leave Anil Kumble’s side 100-4.

Virat Kohli responded to the growing pressure by dispatching Nechim for a huge six over deep midwicket to set up a thrilling finish with the Royal Challengers needing 55 runs from just 30 balls.

Harbhajan Singh conceded 8 runs from the 16th over before Lasith Malinga strengthened the Indians position with a 7 run over to leave the target 40 from 18 balls.

Kohli hit back with another monstrous six off the bowling of Nechim to start the 18th over with a much needed boundary before the bowler responded by conceding just 6 more runs.

Malinga came back to bowl his final over but Kohli once against found the boundary on three occasions to set up a thrilling final over with the Royal Challengers needing just 13 runs to seal a stunning victory after Kohli and Dravid (71) had built a 5th wicket partnership of 53 from just 31 balls.

Zaheer Khan’s first two balls of the final over produced two runs before Kohli found the boundary from the 3rd delivery before Khan hit back with a dot ball.

Kohli (47) hit back with another stunning boundary to leave the Royals Challengers needing 3 runs from the final ball of the game but Kohli was unable to find a match winning boundary after he was caught by Rayudu behind the stumps to seal the victory for the Indians.

With so much riding on the game for both teams it was the Royal Challengers who struck first as Sachin Tendulkar (1) and Ambati Rayudu (3) were quickly dismissed inside the first four overs.

Having already bowled a maiden to start the game Praveen Kumar bounced back from conceding 10 runs in his second over to dismiss Tendulkar who edged behind a full length delivery much to the delight of Kumar and his teammates.

Rayudu soon followed after he edged a short ball from Vinay Kumar to Rahul Dravid in the slips three deliveries later to leave the slumping Indians 22-2 after just 3.2 overs.

With the pressure mounting on the Indians; Royal Challengers skipper Anil Kumble decided to bowl out Praveen Kumar who completed his 4 over spell conceding just 26 runs but more importantly picking up the vital wicket of Tendulkar.

Kumble brought himself into the attack an over later after deciding against bowling out Vinay Kumar and the skipper conceded just 8 runs as the Indians crawled towards 50-2 after 8 overs.

Jacques Kallis continued to stave the batsmen of runs in the next over and with the pressure building JP Duminy (10) tried to clear the boundary but could only watch as the ball sailed into the hands of Dale Steyn at long-on.

The Indians reached the half way mark 65-3 and were greeted with the sight of Steyn running in to start the 11th over, his first of the game as the Royal Challengers looked to increase their grip of the game.

Dhawan (41), who had opened the batting with Tendulkar looked to break the shackles but, after dispatching Kallis for a boundary and a six over midwicket he fell in the 13th over after he picked out Dravid at mid-wicket to give Steyn the breakthrough.

After staring with the bat against Guyana Kieron Pollard finally arrived at the crease to find the Indians 83-4 and in desperate need of some explosive batting from the West Indies all rounder.

The Royal Challengers had other ideas though and having been peppered with short balls Pollard (0) got a leading edge off the 4th delivery he faced from Steyn to give Ross Taylor an easy catch at extra cover.

With Pollard gone compatriot Bravo came to the crease and played a vital role alongside Tiwary as the pair built a 6th wicket partnership of 64 which changed the course of the game and allowed the Indians to finish the inning with the momentum.

The pair came together at the start of the 14th over and proceeded to smash 6 fours and 3 sixes in an expensive partnership which lasted just 34 before Bravo was caught by Virat Kohli out on the midwicket boundary to give Steyn his 3rd wicket of the innings.

With over an over to go Harbhajan Singh came to the crease and he added a vital 14 runs to help the Indians reach 165-7 to take control of the game.

source - cricket20.com
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