Mumbai: With a tinge of green on the Wankhade pitch, Lasith Malinga and Dale Steyn playing, it had to be those rare IPL matches were the ball could have dominated, and domination it was, from the bowlers as well as from the hosts Mumbai Indians.
Harbhajan had put Deccan in to bat and in 18. 4 overs the visitors were bundled out for just 100 runs. Eventually, Mumbai knocked off those runs to earn two points. A hard earn two points, to be precise even after chasing a below par 100 runs in 20 overs at the Wankhede stadium on Sunday.
100 runs were never going to be enough for a win, but Dale Steyn ensured that he made a match out of it. After Malinga (4-0-16-4) exploited the conditions in typical T20 style courtesy slower ones picking up 4 wickets, Steyn (4-0-10-2) relied on brute force and menacing swing. Harbhajan Singh put himself in the mix well leading from the front with top notch off spin bowling. He flighted the ball well, was slower through the air and gave a hard rip trying to turn the ball on seamer friendly conditions. The skipper picked up 2 wickets conceding 13 runs in his 4 overs.
Steyn had produced a peach of an out swinger to dismiss his countryman Richard Levi in the very first ball of the Mumbai innings and what followed in the over was pace bowling of absolute highest quality. Rohit Sharma was repeatedly beaten all ends up, only thing that helped him to stay in the middle was probably Tendulkar’s advice at the other end.
After playing out the Styen bullets in the middle, the pressure lid was off Mumbai batters as rest of the Deccan bowling failed to utilize the conditions. Veer Pratap Singh bowled a tad better than the rest but was guilty of bowling loose deliveries every over.
By the tenth over, both sides were neck to neck, Mumbai had reached 51 /3 as opposed to Deccan’s 52/3. Stand in captain Cameron White had limited resources at his disposal and after using Steyn for 3 overs he decided to roll the dice for the last time, he gave Steyn the 13th over and he nearly produced what White would have wanted, a wicket, that too of iceman James Franklin, only to be denied by sloppy work in the field by Amit Mishra.
After the 13th over, DC were 66/6 and Mumbai 67/3. The hosts eventually reached the target from there on with a patchy and nervous Rohit Sharma leading the way with a crafty and lucky 42 runs off 48 balls. If the same luck was enjoyed by Cameron White or Dan Christian while they batted, 20 to 30 runs more would have made the difference in Mumbai winning or losing.
Earlier, Deccan rested their best player Sangakkara for the match, as Parthiv Patel and Shikhar Dhawan gave the Hyderabad a good start only to go off track later. Parthiv Patel, after playing some cheeky inside edges to the boundary perished in the 6th over. Shikhar Dhawan remained in the middle for a long time, only to be stuck in the first gear missing the majority of the balls than hitting them.
But the knockout blow for Deccan came when in form skipper Cameron White went for a duck in the 9th over followed by Dhawan (29) in the 12th and Dan Christian for 1 in the 13th. It was a short and wide delivery from Malinga which bounced a bit more than White anticipated, White played an upper cut straight down the third man, RP Singh’s throat. Then Dhawan came down the track, missed the line of the ball, Karthik completed an easy stumping. Next over, Rohit Sharma plucked one out of thin air to dismiss the dangerous Dan Christian 5 (5). It was a bit wide from Franklin, Christian pounced on to that, went on the back foot and slapped it with full might, but Rohit got both hands to it.
Harbhajan turned around his fortunes along with his teams’ with a good spell off spin bowling 4-0-13-2 ably supported by the Slinga Malinga 3.4-0-16-4. Duminy (25) was left stranded in the middle as the young guns Chipli and Jaggi imploded in the middle.
Deccan are still at the bottom of the table with a solitary win and a no result as Mumbai catapulted themselves to the top half of the points table with this easy win.