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Cricket | IPL

Pune bowlers break Mumbai hearts



The Pune Warriors bowlers were able to break through regularly as they limited the Mumbai Indians to 100 for nine to clinch a 29-run victory in their Indian Premier League match at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.

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It was a shock victory for the Warriors, who finished last in their debut IPL season last year and were playing away from home at the daunting stadium of one of the tournament favourites, and especially since they were only defending 130.

But the Mumbai Indians were in trouble immediately as new T20 sensation Richard Levi was stumped by Robin Uthappa for a duck off the second ball of the innings bowled by left-arm spinner Murali Kartik.

Ashok Dinda then opened the bowling from the Garware Pavilion End and produced a performance to rival that of Mumbai Indians' star Lasith Malinga.

Dinda produced a double-wicket strike in his first over, having Ambati Rayadu caught at slip and then having Rohit Sharma caught behind by Uthappa, both for singles.

Mumbai were five for three before James Franklin and Dinesh Karthik added 49 for the fourth wicket to stabilise the innings. But the required surge of runs never came, although an exciting ending still looked likely as the home side reached 48 for three after 10 overs.

But the Pune spinners tightened their grip to strangulation point, with Karthik (32) surprised by a quicker, big-turning delivery from Kartik and being stumped by Uthappa.

Debutant Suryakumar Yadav was then bowled for a duck by a fizzing arm-ball from off-spinner Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard (8) was bowled by a similar quicker delivery by leg-spinner Rahul Sharma.

The big-hitting Pollard had been left with too much to do by Franklin, who tried none of the big hits required in the closing stages of a T20 match when more than 10 runs an over are required.

It's fitting that when Franklin did finally try and hit out, in the 18th over, the bat went flying from his hands and the ball was skied to Callum Ferguson at long-on to give Dinda his third wicket. The New Zealander initially did a good job for his team, but it was heartbreaking for the home crowd to see him pushing singles when so much more was required. Franklin finished with 32 off 42 balls and his dismissal ended Mumbai's hopes.

Pune captain Saurav Ganguly said at the toss that he expected the pitch to turn more in the second innings, and his trio of spinners produced a top-class performance to back up a canny display of leadership in the field.

While seamer Dinda finished with a phenomenal 4-17 in four overs, it was the pressure exerted by the spinners that helped him to his success.

The merry tunes played by Kartik (3-0-14-2), Rahul (4-0-16-1) and Samuels (4-0-21-1) would see the Mumbai batsmen spellbound and frustrated as Pune pulled off an impressive mugging at a packed Wankhede Stadium.

South African left-armer Wayne Parnell bowled a couple of top-class deliveries as he finished with a creditable 1-18 in three overs, claiming a late wicket when he had Malinga caught behind by a slick Uthappa for five.

The fact that none of the Pune bowlers conceded more than 6.5 runs per over told the story as the Mumbai Indians showed the fragility of their batting line-up without the injured and talismanic Sachin Tendulkar, who has not recovered from the finger injury suffered in the opening game.

IPL'S LEADING WICKET-TAKER

Malinga had earlier become the leading wicket-taker in IPL history as the powerful Mumbai Indians attack restricted the Pune Warriors to just 129 for nine.

Malinga, the Sri Lankan star, led the way with outstanding figures of 2-16 in his four overs - the first runs scored by a batsman off his bowling came after 11 balls.

The unorthodox slinger now has 65 wickets in 44 matches, overtaking Rudra Pratap Singh's 64 wickets in 56 games.

Malinga was magnificent up front after the Mumbai Indians had decided to bowl first, bowling Manish Pandey for a duck in a wicket-maiden first over and then conceding just three runs in his second over. The 28-year-old returned in the 17th over with almost the same effectiveness.

Despite the slog being on, he conceded just 13 runs in his last two overs and bowled the dangerous Samuels for four with another trademark swinging yorker.

With off-spinner Harbhajan Singh sharing the new ball and doing a great job as well, the Pune batsmen were feeling their way from the start and Uthappa (36 off 33 balls) and Steven Smith (39 off 32) were the only ones to bat with any authority.

Paceman Munaf Patel also produced a top-class display as he took 2-26 in four overs, nipping a delivery back into Parnell (11) and bowling the South African left-hander, and then having Smith caught off a slower ball in a marvellous final over that cost just five runs.

Mumbai captain Harbhajan was also impressive with 1-16 in three overs, dismissing opposite number Ganguly (3).

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha would come on later and also do a great job, taking 1-23 in four overs and turning the ball sharply.

MUMBAI INDIANS - Suryakumar Yadav, Richard Levi, Ambati Rayadu, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Kieron Pollard, James Franklin, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel.

PUNE WARRIORS - Robin Uthappa, Saurav Ganguly, Callum Ferguson, Marlon Samuels, Manish Pandey, Steven Smith, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul Sharma, Wayne Parnell, Murali Kartik, Ashok Dinda.

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