Pune: It was another cliff-hanger, 16th match of IPL 2012 that saw a last over finish. Pune needed 12 runs it was a brilliant last over from Munaf Patel as Pune in spite of all the hard work, fell short by just 1 run.
Mumbai were defending a paltry total of 120 runs and Pune needed 27 runs off the last three overs as Ganguly was bowled off the last delivery of the 17th over bowled by Malinga. It was some good bowling by Lasith Malinga in the death overs as Mumbai managed to pull out victory in the last ball of the innings. With 8 required from 2 balls. Bhuvneshwar Kumar slammed the penultimate delivery over wide of long-on for a boundary, however he could not capitalize on the last ball which was a full-toss and could work it just for a couple.
Mumbai have now tried seven opening combinations in the last ten matches. In this match, Tendulkar along with James Franklin added 50 runs for the first wicket from where they collapsed like a pack of cards. Tendulkar earlied played a maiden from Ashok Dinda and compensated for it by scoring three boundaries in his next over. Nehra scalped Tendulkar’s wicket in the 12th over and Mumbai innings derailed from that point and there were four run-outs to add to Mumbai’s batting woes.
Towards the end Mumbai batsmen found it really difficult to find gaps and there was a time when Mumbai didn’t score a boundary for almost seven overs. Nehra was impressive in his second spell and he picked up two wickets for just 19 runs in his quota of 4 overs. Pune had done really well to restrict Mumbai to 120 and it was a good chance for them to end their losing streak.
Robin Uthappa who scored 18 runs was out in the fourth over bowled by Munaf Patel. Chasing the paltry total, Pune were always behind the required run-rate and Harbhajan Singh led from the front as he picked up two wickets for just 18 runs. Michael Clarke (14) perished to a controversial lbw decision and Steven Smith who has been consistent for Pune in this season was bowled by Ojha for just 2 runs that came as a big blow for the home team. Skipper Ganguly played 24 balls for his 16 and he was out just when Pune wanted him to hit some big strokes.
Mithun Manhas was the pick of Pune batsmen as he remained unbeaten on 42 runs from 34 balls. He scored boundaries at crucial intervals, but failed to convert it into a match-winning knock as he received no support from any other batsman. He scored most of his shots on the off-side and a few boundaries which he scored towards deep backward point were delightful to watch.
Mumbai in spite of this win, never looked in great touch and apart from the opening partnership, the batting performance was mediocre. The bowlers clicked as a unit and they dominated right through the second innings as Pune succumbed to the pressure. Apart from Malinga and Harbhajan who picked up two wickets each, Munaf Patel too contained the runs and bowled a match-winning last over. For his excellent bowling under pressure, Lasith Malinga was declared the Man of the Match.