Mumbai Indians dished out a superlative bowling performance to eke out a one run win over Pune Warriors in a nail-biting Indian Premier League match played on Thursday.
Set to defend a modest 120 for nine,Mumbai bowlers rose to the occasion to restrict Pune to 119 for six in their 20 overs,thereby falling short by just a run.
Skipper Harbhajan Singh led from the front picking up two wickets for just 18 runs,while Lasith Malinga (2/25) was as usual at his lethal best towards the death.
Munaf Patel and Pragyan Ojha also did their bid ending up with identical figures of one for 24.
Mithun Manhas scored an unbeaten 42 off 34 balls to keep Pune in the hunt but in the end it was not enough.
Earlier,asked to bowl,Pune produced a clinical bowling and fielding display to restrict Mumbai to the paltry score at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium.
Young Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashish Nehra shared four wickets between them as Pune bowlers stuck to their task from the onset,barring a few overs in the middle.
Pune bowlers were complemented well by their fielders as they inflicted as many as four run outs.
Sachin Tendulkar top-scored for Mumbai a 35-ball 34 and together with James Franklin (25) added 50 runs for the opening stand,which was the only highlight of the visitors’ innings.
Chasing 121 for win,Robin Uthappa scored a run-a-ball 18 before he fell lbw to Patel.
Jesse Ryder and Michael Clarke then added 20 runs for the second wicket before the fomer was holed out by a running Perera at deep mid-on of the bowling off Harbhajan.
Harbhajan brought Mumbai back into the contest in his next over when he dismissed Clarke lbw even TV replays suggested the ball was going over the off stump but umpire Sudhir Asnani thought otherwise.
Ojha then went through the defence of in-form Steven Smith in the next over to tilt the match in Mumbai’s favour as Pune slumped to 47 for four at the halfway mark.
Skipper Sourav Ganguly (16) and Manhas played cautiously and stitched 47 runs off 42 balls for the fifth wicket to take Pune closer.
But the ever-reliable Malinga broke the partnership when he bowled Ganguly with a slower delivery and then dismissed Wayne Parnell in his next over to raise Mumbai’s hopes.
Needing 12 runs off the last over,Manhas and Kumar could only manage 10 as Pune continued its slide down the points table.
Earlier,electing to bat,Mumbai witnessed a sedate start as the first three overs yielded just seven runs,which included a maiden second over from Ashok Dinda (1/34).
But Tendulkar opened the floodgates for Mumbai,hitting Dinda for three consecutive fours to pick up 13 runs of his next over.
Franklin also joined the party soon and welcomed Nehra with a six and two fours to score 14 runs of his opening over.
It took Kumar to put the brakes on Mumbai when Franklin top-edged a simple catch to Mithun Manhas at long-on.
New man Rohit Sharma did not trouble the scorers much as he fell victim of a run out.
Tendulkar,on the other hand,went about his business in a quiet manner scoring his runs in ones and twos with occasional boundaries in between.
But after a dismal opening over,Nehra made a strong comeback in his second spell and scalped two wickets,which included that of dangerman Tendulkar.
The left-arm pacer tasted a big success in the 12th over when he accounted for a set Tendulkar,who edged one to Uthappa behind the stumps. Nehra then induced a top-edge from Robin Peterson (13) in his next over which Ganguly gladly accepted at long-off.
Ganguly was right on the money with his bowling changes as brought back into the attack in the 15th over,Kumar cleaned up Ambati Rayudu to pick up his second wicket.
Thisara Perera and skipper Harbhajan did not trouble the scorers at all as they fell in successive balls for ducks to sum a horrible outing for Mumbai batsmen.
Towards the end Dinesh Karthik (18 not out) and Lasith Malinga (14) stitched crucial 26 runs for the eighth wicket to help Mumbai touch the 120-run mark.