Desert storm hits Mumbai Indians, makes semi-final berth a mirage

Desert storm hits Mumbai Indians, makes semi-final berth a mirage
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First Published: Tue, May 27 2008. 05 17 PM IST
Updated: Tue, May 27 2008. 05 17 PM IST
Jaipur: It was another classic battle of the nerves for the Mumbai Indians where the adrenalin rushed, heart beats almost stopped, thousands went silent and the result familiar to them. The Mumbai Indians lost yet another very closely fought Twenty20 cricket match at the Indian Premier League (IPL), this time by five wickets to Rajasthan Royals led by the demi-god of leg spin Shane Warne.
Having done their homework well to tackle the former Oz wizard of spin, the Mumbai team had no answer to a wily Pakistani fast bowler Sohail Tavir who scalped four wickets giving away 14 runs in his allotted-four over spell. This steely Tanvir show not only made him the highest wicket taker (21 wickets) in the tournament but also forced the Mumbai Indians to depend on miracle and mathematics to make their dimming hope of a semi-final place a reality.
Put into bat first, the Mumbai Indians began in a slow but commanding fashion with two maestros of the willow Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya executing from either ends, until the partnership was broken by rookie S.K. Trivedi after a 71-run stand. Jayasuriya scored 38 off 37 balls and reached 460 runs becoming the third highest scorer in the tournament after Gautam Gambhir (523) and Shaun Marsh (478).
Had Mumbai wicket-keeper Yogesh Takawale not hit Shane Watson all over the park in the last over of their innings, the match would not have lasted to become a humdinger tale.
The Rajasthan Royals began their chase in a disastrous fashion losing five-wickets for 77 runs. It was in such a hopeless situation two left handers Neeraj Patel and Ravindra Jadeja met at the crease to hold the last straw like a drowning man. But the Gods had a different script in store. The duo went on till the last ball of the innings and a joint Dilhara Fernando – Jayasuriya fielding fiasco gifted them what seemed impossible little while ago – a victory.
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First Published: Tue, May 27 2008. 05 17 PM IST