Sublime Hayden sinks Indians
In fine form (Gallo Images)
Port Elizabeth - The Mumbai Indians were all but dumped out of the 2009 DLF Indian Premier League when they suffered a seven-wicket loss at the hands of the Chennai Super Kings at Sahara Oval St George's on Saturday.
Australian Matthew Hayden, dropped on the second ball he faced, scored his fifth half-century of the tournament as the Chennai Super Kings eased home with five balls to spare, having been set 148 for victory.
Hayden, who started off at an uncharacteristically pedestrian pace, finished unbeaten on 60 off 57 balls including four fours and one six.
He and Mahendra Singh Dhoni shared an unbeaten, match-winning stand of 87 runs off 54 balls. Dhoni, who hit the winning four with scores tied, made 23 not out.
Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga trapped Parthiv Patel in front of wicket with the first ball of the innings and ultimately finished with one for 19 in his four overs.
The Indians still have an outside chance of making the semifinals if the Deccan Chargers and the Punjab Kings XI lose all their remaining matches.
But for all intents and purposes, their challenge looks to be over.
The Mumbai Indians' innings of 147 for five was built around a solid knock from JP Duminy. The South African took his tally of runs for the tournament to 363 with a solid 62 on Saturday. He faced 54 balls and stroked four fours and two sixes. Duminy was the glue that kept the innings together after opener Dwayne Bravo (5) and Sachin Tendulkar (11) lost their wickets early on.
Sanath Jayasuriya scored a quick-fire 30 at the top of the innings off only 17 balls while lefthander Abhishek Nayar made an unbeaten 33 in the middle.
Nayar also shared in a vital fourth-wicket partnership of 65 runs off 52 balls with Duminy. Seamer Albie Morkel eventually broke the stand while in his follow-through when he ran his Proteas' team-mate out at the non-strikers' end.
Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan was the most economical of the Super Kings bowlers conceding only 19 runs off his four overs. Off-spinner Suresh Raina also puts the skids on the Indians' scoring rate and finished with 1/22 in four.