Pune Warriors India sinks to its 12th defeat in 14 matches

Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu’s half-century stand steered Mumbai Indians to its ninth win in Pepsi-IPL VI at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium on Saturday. The five-wicket win over Pune Warriors India took MI’s tally to 18 points. It stays in the top four and has almost clinched a play-off berth.

Set a small target of 113, MI began in disappointing fashion, losing Dwayne Smith first ball, to a lovely delivery from Ashoke Dinda. Then a set Sachin Tendulkar chipped a drive to long-on.

Dinesh Karthik did not realise the peril of hitting the ball in the air and offered Manish Pandey a second catch, but Rohit held on until he left the scene when his team was one run from victory. Harbhajan Singh hit the winning shot and MI heaved a sigh of relief after recording its third away win. It was the Warriors’ 12th defeat.

Out of sorts

Once again the Warriors, which elected to bat, looked out for sorts. Barring a semblance of defiance when Manish Pandey and Yuvraj Singh played sensible cricket and struck big blows, the team did not appear to have answers to an attack that stood out for its variety and perseverance.

Recalled to the side after watching the proceedings from the sidelines for three weeks, Manish offered the full face of the bat in defence, placed shots with soft hands for ones and twos and struck an on-side six off left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha. Gradually, he and Yuvraj repaired the dismal situation caused by the departure of the openers. Manish’s dismissal, pulling Lasith Malinga to Rayudu, set off a procession of batsmen between the dug out and the crease. Not a single four was hit after Manish had struck Abu Nechim Ahmed in the last of the Power Play overs, though the right-hander and Yuvraj hit one and two sixes, respectively, off Ojha thereafter.

PWI made five changes to the eleven that lost to Kolkata Knight Riders in order to bolster its batting and the strategy seemed to be working until Harbhajan forced Yuvraj to play around a delivery to win an emphatic lbw appeal from Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf.

Harbhajan was MI’s star player, bowling four overs unchanged, claiming a crucial wicket and taking two catches in the straight field.

Sachin Tendulkar’s remarkable piece of work resulted in a direct-hit run out of Angelo Mathews. Rohit was in full control of the situation and introduced his latest million-dollar colleague, Glenn Maxwell in the 16th over. The Warriors batting was quite tedious and it was dull cricket all the way, except for the time Manish and Yuvraj held fort.

Scoreboard:

Pune Warriors India: Robin Uthappa lbw b Malinga 11 (13b, 1x4), Aaron Finch c Smith b Johnson 10 (11b, 2x4), Manish Pandey c Rayudu b Malinga 29 (29b, 1x4, 1x6), Yuvraj Singh lbw b Harbhajan 33 (29b, 1x4, 2x6), Angelo Mathews (run out) 0 (2b), Abhishek Nayar c Harbhajan b Ahmed 11 (14b), Kane Richardson c Harbhajan b Johnson 8 (16b), Parveez Rasool (not out) 4 (5b), Bhuvneshwar Kumar c Smith b Ahmed 2 (2b); Extras (b-1, lb-2, nb-1): 4; Total (for eight wkts. in 20 overs): 112.

Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Finch), 2-25 (Uthappa), 3-84 (Manish), 4-85 (Mathews), 5-85 (Yuvraj), 6-99 (Richardson), 7-109 (Nayar), 8-112 (Bhuvneshwar).

Mumbai Indians bowling: Mitchell Johnson 4-0-8-2, Abu Nechim Ahmed 4-0-27-2, Lasith Malinga 4-0-27-2, Pragyan Ojha 3-0-28-0, Harbhajan Singh 4-0-14-1, Glenn Maxwell 1-0-5-0.

Mumbai Indians: Dwayne Smith b Dinda 0 (1b), Sachin Tendulkar c Manish b Mendis 15 (13b, 3x4), Dinesh Karthik c Manish b Yuvraj 17 (25b, 1x4, 1x6), Rohit Sharma c Dinda b Richardson 37 (41b, 3x4), Ambati Rayudu c Mathews b Dinda 26 (23b, 2x4, 1x6), Glenn Maxwell (not out) 13 (7b, 1x4, 1x6), Harbhajan Singh (not out) 4 (3b, 1x4); Extras (w-4): 4; Total (for five wkts. in 18.5 overs): 116

Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Smith), 2-25 (Tendulkar), 3-39 (Karthik), 4-93 (Rayudu), 5-112 (Rohit).

Pune Warriors India bowling: Ashoke Dinda 4-0-35-2, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-0-12-0, Kane Richardson 3.5-0-28-1, Ajantha Mendis 4-0-15-1, Yuvraj Singh 4-0-21-1, Parveez Rasool 1-0-5-0.

Man-of-the-match: M. Johnson.

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