“I’ve played cricket for 21 years and I have seen Sachin Tendulkar as the best batsman against whom I have played as he has murdered attacks and hit them all over the park. But today was the best innings I have ever seen,” No Guesses for who made that comment. Yes the spin wizard Shane Warne showering praise on his team mate Yusuf Pathan who almost won the game single handedly with his ferocious 37 ball 100 which also happens to be the fastest in IPL and 2nd fastest in the history of T20 cricket.
It was supposed to be clash of 2 titans – Sachin and Warne but none in the stands could have ever imagined that they would go back having watched one of the best T20 innings in their lives. Set a huge target of 213 the Royals got off to the worst possible start that they could imagine when Asnodkar was brilliantly runout by Satish(ICL player) when the score was 0. A former ICL player Ali Murtaza sent back Naman Ojha caught by Zaheer at mid off. Smith soon departed when Satish grabbed an easy caught and bowled. Royals were reduced to 69/4 after 10 which meant Royals had to score at an improbable 14 runs per over for the last 10 overs. What followed was the least that Sachin would have expected. Yusuf started the onslaught smashing Murtaza for 3 consecutive 6’s. The very next over Pathan again smahed 18 runs of Satish. Sachin tried to rotate his bowlers but it didn’t make an iota of difference to yusuf. He got to his 100 with his trademark 6 over long on.
Then the unexpected happened. Yusuf was runout in the most unluck fashion as Dogra smashed on straight and Satish lunged to his right to stop it and had the presence of the mind to calmly flick a direct hit at the non-striker’s end. Yusuf had backed up too far and couldn’t come back in time and a delightful T20 knock was cut short. Mumbai Indians heaved a sigh of relief as 40 were required of 17 balls and Yusuf was gone but it was not to be. Dogra who was happy playing the second fiddle now turned the aggressor and smashed Satish for 21 runs in 5 balls. 19 from 12 balls and then came the experienced campaigner in the form of Zaheer who was brilliant giving away only 7 runs which meant Royals had to get 12 from 6. But Malinga was back dishing out his Yorkers and effecting a runout of his own bowling of the 1st ball and knocking off the stumps of the debutant Uniyal. 6 were required of the last ball but Mascarenhas could only manage a single and Mumbai won by 4 runs.
Mumbai Indians Innings
Earlier Sachin won the first battle when he decided to bat first having won the toss. Sachin and Jayasurya got the Mumbai Indians off to a flier but Jayasurya was fooled by a slower one and was adjudged lbw. The spin doctor Shane Warne had advertised on Twitter that it would be “Tendulkar v Tait” but sadly for him Tait was nowhere near his best and was blasted for 24 runs in his first 2 which included 5 wides. 69/1 after 6. Shane had to do something and he got back Mascarenhas who got the master blaster plumb in front after he tried to play a paddle sweep. Tare exited 2 balls later. In came Ambati Rayudu another ICL recruit who started his IPL campaign with an airy flick – he does play that shot well – to midwicket boundary. Saurab Tiwary and Rayudu played their shots and were very confident in playing Warne who looked ordinary for a change. Rayudu got to his 50 on his debut and Tiwary too followed up with another. It was a result of their 110 run partnership that Mumbai Indians were able to post their highest total in IPL (212).
To say it was an unbelievable game will be an understatement. It was Rajasthan Royals who had earlier chased down a score over 200 against DC in IPL 1 and they almost did it again but Zaheer/Malinga combination and the brilliance of Satish on the field spoiled the party for Yusuf and the Royals. It was day 2 of IPL3 and already we have seen 2 games go down to the wire. It can only get better 🙂
Player of the Match : Yusuf Pathan