MS Dhoni was back to lead the team, but it mattered little to the fortunes of the Chennai Super Kings as the master on the other side, Sachin Tendulkar, guided the Mumbai Indians to a five-wicket win last night. Tendulkar, not at his fluent or physical best, stayed from the start until the final furlongs, allowing the home side to comfortably overhaul a demanding score of 180 for two with an over to spare and climb to the top of the IPL table.
It was another disciplined effort from the Mumbai maestro, for he seemed to be struggling with his hamstring and timing early on in the innings. But an aggressive Shikhar Dhawan (56 from 34 balls) took the pressure off him in a 92-run association for the opening wicket. That 53-ball partnership laid the foundations of Mumbai's most successful run chase in the IPL, and Tendulkar contributed with a Twenty20 career-best 72 from 52 balls.
The Dhawan-Tendulkar partnership was not the biggest of the game, as Suresh Raina and S Badrinath had earlier added 142 runs for the third wicket from 91 balls for the Chennai Super Kings. "If you look at the last couple of matches, I did not do well," Raina said. "I was getting the starts, but did not convert. So I was thinking if I get the chance, I have to make sure I bat till the end." Raina, relieved of the pressures of captaincy, stroked an unbeaten 83 (52 balls) while Badrinath returned on a more sedate 55 (45 balls), but in the end their combined effort was overshadowed by that of Tendulkar's.
Chennai Super Kings: Parthiv Patel b McLaren 8 Matthew Hayden lbw b Harbhajan Singh 20 Suresh Raina not out 83 Subramaniam Badrinath not out 55 Extras (4lb, 9w, 1nb) 14 Total (for two wickets in 20 overs) 180 Fall of wickets: 1-32, 2-38 Bowling Ryan McLaren 4-0-23-1 Zaheer Khan 4-0-45-0 Harbhajan Singh 4-0-25-1 Dwayne Bravo 4-0-42-0 Lasith Malinga 4-0-41-0 Mumbai Indians: Shikhar Dhawan c Raina b Jakati 56 Sachin Tendulkar c Dhoni b Balaji 72 Saurabh Tiwary lbw b Muralitharan 2 R Sathish b Joginder Sharma 5 Kieron Pollard b Muralitharan 20 Dwayne Bravo not out 14 Ryan McLaren not out 1 Extras (4lb, 9w, 1nb) 14 Total (for five wickets in 19 overs) 184 Fall of wickets: 1-92, 2-96, 3-120, 4-159, 5-172 Bowling Albie Morkel 4-0-26-0 Lakshmipathy Balaji 4-0-50-1 Joginder Sharma 2-0-23-1 Shadab Jakati 4-0-30-1 Muttiah Muralitharan 4-0-32-2 Thissara Perera 1-0-19-0
Earlier in the day, Delhi Daredevils brought their distressing streak of three consecutive defeats to an end with a 17-run triumph over Royal Challengers Bangalore, ending the home side's run of four successive wins in the bargain. Fireworks from David Warner at the top and Kedar Jadhav towards the end helped the Daredevils post a challenging 183 for four. Amit Mishra then bowled superbly to wreck the Challengers' run chase, which was not helped by three unnecessary run-outs and an unbelievable catch by AB de Villiers.
"I am very, very happy," said Dinesh Karthik, the Daredevils captain after his first win in charge. "Not only me, the whole team is really happy with this result. "We have really worked hard for it. Warner has been batting beautifully for his country and now he is doing well for us. It's a blessing; it just takes the pressure off Viru [Virender Sehwag] and you know what Viru can do on a good day."
Warner (33) got the Daredevils off to a brisk start with 29 from the first two overs and 10 more from the next. De Villiers (45) consolidated in the middle overs before leaving the stage for the debutant Jadhav, whose 29-ball 50 helped add 67 runs from the final six overs to the visitors' score. It also fetched him the man-of-the-match award. "Credit to the way Delhi Daredevils played," said Anil Kumble, the Challengers' captain. "I thought we did well to restrict them to 183 because they got off to a brilliant start. Then we got off to a good start, had a foundation to chase those runs, but unfortunately a couple of run-outs and a couple of poor shot-selection cost us the game. "Our batsmen are in good form and I expected them to get those runs, but it was just one of those days when things did not go our way." @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Delhi Daredevils: David Warner c Vinay Kumar b Steyn 33 Virender Sehwag c Kohli b Vinay Kumar 12 AB de Villiers run out (Morgan) 45 Dinesh Karthik run out (Steyn) 17 Kedar Jadhav not out 50 Andrew McDonald not out 18 Extras: (1lb, 7w) 8 Total: (for four wickets in 20 overs) 183 Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-58, 3-101, 4-134 Bowling: Praveen Kumar 4-0-45-0 Dale Steyn 4-0-42-1 Jacques Kallis 4-0-36-0 R. Vinay Kumar 4-0-29-1 Anil Kumble 4-0-30-0 Royal Challengers Bangalore: Manish Pandey b McDonald 39 Jacques Kallis b Mishra 27 Robin Uthappa c Karthik b Mishra 15 Rahul Dravid run out (Yadav/Karthik) 1 Eoin Morgan run out (de Villiers/Karthik) 17 Virat Kohli not out 38 Mark Boucher c Sehwag b Sangwan 2 R Vinay Kumar run out (Mishra/Nannes) 2 Praveen Kumar c de Villiers b Yadav 0 Dale Steyn b McDonald 8 Anil Kumble not out 1 Extras: (11lb, 4w, 1nb) 16 Total: (for nine wickets in 20 overs) 166 Fall of wickets: 1-71, 2-85, 3-86, 4-90, 5-120, 6-123, 7-135, 8-137, 9-165 Bowling: Dirk Nannes 4-0-31-0 Umesh Yadav 4-0-27-1 Praveen Sangwan 4-0-32-1 Amit Mishra 4-0-23-2 Andrew McDonald 4-0-42-2