x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Kochi celebrate Vishu with triumph over Mumbai

Lasith Malinga finished with two wickets but was unable to help the Indians to their third consecutive win, despite beginning as the favourites in this match.

Kochi Tuskers Kerala beat Mumbai Indians by eight wickets to register their first win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Mumbai last night, celebrating Vishu - a festival celebrated in Kerala that marks the onset of the new year.

Brendon McCullum, the opening batsman, top-scored for the winning side with a 60-ball 81 that included 10 boundaries and two sixes. Mahela Jayawardene, his opening partner and captain, too contributed with 56 as Kochi put on 128 for the opening wicket.

Lasith Malinga finished with two wickets but was unable to help the Indians to their third consecutive win, despite beginning as the favourites in this match.

Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar hit his first Twenty20 century, a brilliant unbeaten 100 in 66 balls, to take the Indians to an imposing 182 for two.

Tendulkar, who carried on his superb form in the 50-over ICC World Cup into the Twenty20 league, smashed three sixes and eight fours, and put on a stand of 116 runs in just over 10 overs with Ambati Rayudu, who played a blinder of an innings while making 53 in 33 balls with four sixes and three fours.

The pair, involved in a match-winning partnership in the previous game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, were in command during their second-wicket stand after the home team were asked to bat first on a wicket that had bounce and seam movement initially.

For Kochi, this is indeed a morale-boosting win, having come very close to beating Bangalore and Pune in their first two games.

In yesterday's other game, Gautam Gambhir and Jacques Kallis hit unbeaten half-centuries as the Kolkata Knight Riders thrashed the Rajasthan Royals by nine wickets in Jaipur yesterday.

Gambhir, the captain, scored 75 off 44 balls while Kallis (80 off 65) became the highest run-scorer (187 from three matches) in the tournament so far. The pair's unbroken 152-run stand off 17.1 overs helped the visitors chase down 159 with nine balls to spare.