Bumbling Mumbai on the brink

2010-09-15 00:00

TRUST a bunch of Aussies to go and complicate matters, hey. The South Australian Redbacks pooped the party as they beat the Mumbai Indians by five wickets in a thrilling Champions League tie at Kingsmead last night.

The Redbacks seemed to be strolling to a commanding win while Michael Klinger and Daniel Harris — who really should play the Powerball on this form — were together at the crease.

Chasing Mumbai’s rather daunting total of 180, the South Australians charged out the blocks, getting plenty of help from the butter-fingered IPL outfit.

“Our fielding cost us this match, and when you don’t take those chances to get regular breakthroughs it is hard to win from there,” Mumbai skipper Sachin Tendulkar lamented as his team’s chances lay in tatters.

Jonty Rhodes, employed as the fielding consultant for Mumbai, must have been tearing out what hair he had left as his charges resembled a Bakers Mini cricket clinic with their woeful fielding.

Five catches — of varying degrees of difficulty — went down and there were plenty of fumbles and even overthrows as Mumbai made a fine mess of things.

Earlier, Tendulkar had won the toss and elected to bat, a decision that saw Shaun Tait take centre stage immediately.

The Twenty20 specialist — his muscular frame and delicate mind can only bear four overs a day — went from 0 to 150 km/h in 0.3 overs, and no one was comfortable.

Tendulkar showed flashes of his brilliance, with one effortless flick over square-leg sticking in the mind, but the Mumbai top-order did not come to the party.

The real work was left to a middle-order that housed a contrasting pair of West Indians — the mighty Kieron Pollard and the impish Dwayne Bravo — and the cavalier Saurabh Tiwary.

Mumbai only breached three figures in the 14th over, so laboured was their start. But when they hit the after-burners, it was a sight to behold.

Pollard, to collectively dropped jaws in the press box, somehow muscled Tait — pace and all — on to the road formerly known as NMR Avenue. The blow was tentatively measured at 120 metres, though it may well have landed on a bakkie and be significantly longer by now.

Pollard’s 36 off 21 balls was supported by Tiwary’s kamikaze 44 off 25 balls, as Mumbai tried to give themselves a fighting chance in the tournament.

From 59 for three after 10 overs, their total of 180 for seven was a fine effort. But someone forgot to tell the Redbacks to keep to the script.

Klinger and Harris swung and missed a whole lot in the early overs, but they somehow stayed at the crease — with a little help from the Indians.

“We knew we had to go hard, and we just backed ourselves to do the business,” a beaming Klinger said after the heroics were done.

Harris, who also took a blinder of a catch over his shoulder to get rid of the dangerous Ambati Rayudu, said he had definitely had some luck.

“We worked hard ahead of the tournament, but obviously I had a bit of luck out there,” he said.

The pair’s 112-run opening stand provided the perfect platform for the Aussie franchise, and even a mid-innings wobble couldn’t wreck their victory charge.

Klinger said his team had practised their disciplines well, and he always had confidence in his side.

“We did a lot of drills hitting low full tosses, so the boys did brilliantly to finish that off,” Klinger said.

Needing 41 off the last three overs, the Redbacks didn’t panic. Cameron Borgas and Tom Cooper kept level heads as internationals like Bravo and Zaheer Khan melted in the heat.

The last over, with 11 needed, was handed to Harbhajan Singh and Cooper spanked a six and two fours to send his team a long way towards the semis.

And while unknown scrappers like Borgas, Daniel Christian and Cooper whooped in delight, the expensively assembled Mumbai franchise slid to the brink of elimination.

Playing today: Central Districts v Victoria, Centurion, 1.30 pm – live on SuperSport HD and SuperSport 2.

Mumbai Indians innings

S Dhawan c Manou b Putland2

SR Tendulkar b O’Brien20

AT Rayudu c Harris b Bailey38

JP Duminy c & b O’Brien3

SS Tiwary c Ferguson b Tait44

KA Pollard c Ferguson b Christian36

DJ Bravo run out (Putland/Manou)22

Harbhajan Singh not out0

Z Khan not out0

Extras (b 1, lb 3, w 10, nb 1)15

Total (7 wickets; 20 overs; 93 mins)180

Fow: 1-4, 2-35, 3-47, 4-79, 5-137, 6-170, 7-179

Bowling: SW Tait 4 0 27 1 (1nb, 3w); GD Putland 4 0 24 1 (3w); DT Christian 4 0 37 1 (1w) AW O’Brien 4 0 49 2 (1w); CB Bailey 3 0 30 1 (2w); DJ Harris 1 0 9 0

South Australia innings

M Klinger c Bravo b Malinga50

DJ Harris c Duminy b Murtaza56

GA Manou c Tiwary b Murtaza12

CJ Ferguson c Murtaza b Malinga6

DT Christian c Tiwary b Khan16

CJ Borgas not out14

TLW Cooper not out19

Extras (b 5, w 4)9

Total (5 wickets; 19.3 overs; 90 mins)182

Fow: 1-112), 2-116, 3-127, 4-140, 5-158

Bowling: Z Khan 4 0 33 1 (1w); SL Malinga 4 0 22 2 (1w); AG Murtaza 3 0 29 2 (1w); DJ Bravo 4 0 46 0; Harbhajan Singh 3.3 0 31 0; KA Pollard 1 0 16 0 (1w)

Toss: Mumbai Indians, who chose to bat

Points: South Australia 2, Mumbai Indians 0

Player of the match: DJ Harris (South Australia)

Umpires: EAR de Silva (Sri Lanka) and RE Koertzen

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