Champions League T20
Mumbai hold their nerve
Saurabh Tiwary (Gallo Images)
Durban - The Mumbai Indians held their nerve by the narrowest of margins to beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore by 2 runs in the first IPL derby of the current Airtel Champions League T20 tournament at Kingsmead on Sunday evening.
It is a result which technically still keeps the victors in contention for a semi-final place but in reality the second semi-finalist from Group B (the South Australian Redbacks have already qualified) will be the winner of Tuesday’s match between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Highveld Lions at the Wanderers Stadium.
The Mumbai Indians have the worst run rate of the three teams in contention and whoever wins on Tuesday will have the best run rate and will thus qualify. If the Lions win, then run rate will not come into it as they will have 6 points compared to the 4 of the other two sides.
Today’s match was a contest of the highest quality in which Saurabh Tiwary and Dwayne Bravo set up the Indians’ competitive total of 165 with 100 runs being scored in the last 10 overs.
Praveen Kumar and Vinay Kumar bowled outstandingly up front, delivering 18 dot balls between them in the first 6 overs under power play regulations. Later in the innings Dale Steyn did an excellent job with figures of 3/26.
The Bangalore reply was set up by Rahul Dravid who played his first major innings of the tournament to finish unbeaten on 71 off 58 balls.
Bravo completed an excellent all-round performance by taking 2/23 in his 4 overs to check the Bangalore run rate and win the man of the match award.
But there was a final twist in the tail when Virat Kohli, one of India’s emerging young stars, smashed 47 off 24 balls before being dismissed off the last ball of the match in attempting to win the game. This included achieving the almost unheard of feat of hitting 15 off the penultimate over from one of the game’s outstanding death bowlers, Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka.