An unbeaten century stand between Ajinkya Rahane and JP Duminy earned the Mumbai Indians a comfortable 16-run win over Bangalore Royal Challengers in the Indian Premier League.
Rahane to Indians' rescue
PORT ELIZABETH // An unbeaten century stand between Ajinkya Rahane and JP Duminy earned the Mumbai Indians a comfortable 16-run win over Bangalore Royal Challengers in the Indian Premier League yesterday. The pair shared a partnership of 104 to take the Indians from 53 for two to 157 for two and pave the way for a victory. Rahane struck 62 from 49 balls and Duminy 59 from 41 before the Mumbai bowlers finished the job.
Dhawal Kulkarni, Lasith Malinga, Dwayne Bravo, Chetanya Nanda and Harbhajan Singh were all among the wickets as Mumbai limited their opponents to 141 for seven. Harbhajan was the pick of the bowlers with two for 15 from his four overs. Only Mark Boucher offered any real resistance with an impressive unbeaten 48, but his side were already in real trouble by the time the South African came to the crease.
Jacques Kallis (12) and Robin Uthappa (four) fell in successive overs early on and from then on Bangalore were always fighting an uphill battle. Virat Kohli contributed a useful 20 and Boucher added the highest score of the innings from 33 balls, but the steady loss of wickets undermined any hope they had of successfully making the run chase. Things had earlier looked promising for Bangalore when Vinay Kumar removed dangerman Sachin Tendulkar for a three-ball duck after Mumbai had won the toss and elected to bat first.
Sanath Jayasuriya managed 29 before he too fell, trapped lbw by Roelof van der Merwe, but the partnership between Rahane and Duminy proved a match-winning one. The pair cut loose in the closing stages as they upped the run rate to take Mumbai past the 150-mark, a total that proved too much for the Royal Challengers. "We needed this victory," captain Tendulkar said. "Thanks to JP and Ajinkya, they batted well to the end. I thought we really played well today. Our batting was good, our fielding was good and our bowling was good."
Kumble, the Bangalore captain said: "Unfortunately we lost too many wickets at the start. Boucher is someone who will play to the end and try and finish the game for us, but unfortunately it was too many runs for him." * Agencies