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Mumbai snatch another incredible win as Trinidad and Tobago fall agonizingly short

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harbhajan_iplIn yet another nerve wracking finish at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru on Monday night, Mumbai Indians managed to pull off a narrow one wicket win on the last ball over Trinidad and Tobago. Having won the toss and electing to bat, the T&T batsmen threw away a promising start with some loose shots as they crumbled under pressure to be shot out for a paltry total of 98 having played only 16 and a bit overs. Mumbai, having to chase just 99, began poorly losing 4 wickets inside the first six overs. A patient 34 off 47 balls from Ambati Rayudu got them close to the total, but it needed some big hitting from Malinga in the last over and some incredible luck to go their way on the last ball to sneak a win.

On a greenish looking pitch at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru, the star studded Mumbai Indians took on the domestic champions from the Caribbean, Trinidad & Tobago, on Monday night. The T&T captain Darren Ganga won the toss and surprisingly chose to bat, on a pitch where previous results were firmly in favour of the teams chasing. The Caribbean side went in with an unchanged side from their qualifying campaign, while Mumbai were forced to make a change to the team which beat Chennai with Kiwi allrounder James Franklin coming in for the injured Davy Jacobs, which meant young Ambati Rayudu had to take up wicket-keeping responsibilities once again.

The T&T openers, Adrian Barath and Lendl Simmons got their team off a brisk start in the first couple of overs, feeding on some wayward bowling from Lasith Malinga and Abu Nechim, taking 18 runs off the first two overs. In the third over, Malinga struck in typical fashion, knocking back the off stump of Barath with a well disguised slower delivery pitched right up to the stumps. Darren Bravo came in at number 3 and got into his stride straight away, launching into one from Yuzvendra Chaval pelting him over long on for six in his first over. Simmons too joined the party the next over as he clobbered Nechim for a big six over mid-wicket. Just as the pair were threatening to take the game away from Mumbai, a bizzare incident in the 5th over saw Lendl Simmons being run out against the run of play as he was complacent in getting into his crease. Bravo remained unfazed though, as he smacked Harbhajan Singh for yet another six in the last of the powerplay overs. After six action packed overs, T&T raced to 52/2 with Bravo and Darren Ganga at the crease.

Despite losing 2 early wickets, the T&T batsmen kept going for their shots and paid a heavy price as they lost two wickets off consecutive balls after the powerplay. The first of those was captain Darren Ganga, who attempted a big shot too early in his innings off James Franklin and holed out to a brilliant catch from Rajgopal Satish, coming in from long off. Keeper batsman Denesh Ramdin was the next to go, off the very next ball as he spooned a catch straight back to the bowler Harbhajan Singh, looking for an ambitious off drive against the spin. Bravo too fell victim to a rather ambitious slog a couple of overs later, as his furniture was disturbed by a rampant Harbhajan, reducing the total to a paltry 66/5 at the half way stage in the innings.

Mumbai then sensed the opportunity to get stuck into the T&T lower order and went for the kill instantly. Sherwin Ganga was the next to go in 12th over as he was trapped right in front of the stumps by a Harbhajan arm ball, with the score on just 78. Malinga, who was brought back for another burst as early as the 13th over, struck instantly as he removed Kevon Cooper for a golden duck catching him plumb in front.

Paceman Ravi Rampaul was the next to go,for what was the 3rd golden duck of the innings, this time courtesy a huge mix up with the non striker, as he fell inches short of his ground courtesy an accurate throw from Aiden Blizzard at mid-on. The wickets continued to tumble left, right and center as Jason Mohammed, the best of the T&T batsmen on the day, was caught behind off the bowling of Kieron Pollard after having made 23 from 27 balls. The last wicket to fall in this rather irresponsible batting effort was that of Sunil Narine, who hit one straight down the throat off third man where, young Chahal completed a well judged catch. Hence, as a result of that self destructive batting effort, T&T stumbled from a promising 52/2 after 6 overs to a lowly 98 all out in just 16.2 overs.

Chasing a modest 99 for victory, the Mumbai Indians lost Aiden Blizzard early, caught at short third man by virtue of an ungainly heave off the bowling of leg-spinner Samuel Badree in just the 3rd over of the innings. The game came back to life almost instantly Tirumalsetti Suman too was dismissed in the very next over by Ravi Rampaul, scooping a catch to mid-off also looking for the big hit too early in the innings. A fired up Rampaul struck again a couple of balls later as he dismissed James Franklin caught at first slip. Ravi Rampaul was unstoppable as dismissed the dangerous Andrew Symonds for a duck with a fast, accurate yorker, hitting the base of middle and off. Thus, on the back of a sensational bowling effort from Trinidad and Tobago, Mumbai were left tottering at 21/4 with Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard at the crease after the first 6 overs.

Buoyed by the flurry of wickets early in the innings, the T&T bowlers continued to put the squeeze on the Mumbai batsmen as runs came at a premium for the next few overs. Sunil Narine then, struck a body blow by bowling Kieron Pollard in the 9th over leaving Mumbai in dire straits at 33/5. Rajgopal Satish and the solid Ambati Rayudu slowly rebuilt the innings adding 32 runs for the 6th wicket before Satish, who looked edgy right through innings, scooped one to midwicket off Narine after making a painstaking 14 off 25 balls.

Harbhajan hit one six in his brief stay of 9 before he was run out courtesy some brilliant piece of out fielding on the mid-wicket boundary. Depite all the chaos Rayudu stayed strong, and seemed like he was going win it for the Mumbai Indians. The equation came down to 24 runs to win off 17 balls, and Game 1 matchwinner Malinga joined the batsman in an attempt to steal another win.

The pressure seemed to have even gotten through to Rayudu as he got stuck in the penultimate over from Rampaul, managing only 4 runs from it. Needing 11 off the last over, Rayudu churned the strike over, the very first ball allowing the big hitting Malinga to take strike. Malinga then connected an almighty heave to send it just over long off's head for six. From then on the equation looked fairly simple as 4 runs were needed from as many deliveries. With 3 needed from 3 a ball later, Rayudu hit one straight back to the bowler who was alertl and snapped off the bails off to run out Malinga, who had backed up too far. There was to be another twist the next ball as Rayudu ran himself out in pursuit of a tight 2 to long on. With 2 to win off the last ball young Yuzvendra Chahal tapped one onto the vacant on side field and dramatically completed the winning runs scampering back on a wayward throw and some even worse keeping from Ramdin, who decided to attempt a flick when he could have walked upto the stumps and run the batsman out. The decision not to bring the fielders in when a dot ball could have won Trinidad and Tobago the game was perplexing to say the least, and to leave no fielder in the ring in front of square on the leg side cost the team the game.

With both sides self-destructing at various moments in the game, eventually it was Mumbai who managed to just scrape through yet another nail biter at the Chinnaswamy, pulling off a narrow 1 wicket win over T&T off the last ball. Though they will be relieved at achieving the victory, there is certainly a lot left to be desired from their famed batting line up who haven't made any impression in the tournament so far. Mumbai will next face the South African champions the Cape Cobras on the 30th, while T&T, who were very unlucky tonight, will face the New South Wales From Australia this wednesday.


Mumbai: Aiden Blizzard, James Franklin, T.Suman, R.Satish, Ambati Rayudu, Andrew Symonds, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh(captain), Lasith Malinga, Abu Nechim, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Trinidad and Tobago: Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barth, Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Jason Mohammed, Darren Ganga(captain), Sherwin Ganga, Kevon Cooper, Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul.

Mini Scorecard:

Trinidad & Tobago 98 all out (16.2 overs)
J Mohammed 23 (27) Harbhajan 3/22
L Simmons 21 (18) L Malinga 2/22

Mumbai Indians 99/9 (20 overs)
A Rayudu 36 (47) R Rampaul 3/17
L Malinga 15 (8) S Narine 2/10

Mumbai win by 1 wicket

File Photograph Copyright:·Gayatri Naik

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