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Mumbai batsmen destroy venom-less Cobras, rain ruins chance of a result

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rain1Rain,sadly bucketed down soon after Mumbai constructed an intimidating total of 176-5 and their match against the Cape Cobras had to be abandoned without a ball being bowled in anger in the second innings. Earlier the star-studded Mumbai Indians dented the venomous pride of the Cobras as Kanwar's 21 ball 45 and Pollard's monstrous 58 from 37 blasted the titans in blue and gold to an imposing total. Mumbai will be left rueing the inclement weather as they sniffed another triumph.

As the Champions League T20 drew closer to the business end, the Mumbai Indians took guard against the Cape Cobras on a relatively greenish wicket at Bangalore which was likely to aid the bowlers. Mumbai, who were on a roll with consecutive wins to open their campaign, drafted in Sarul Kanwar in place of opening batsman T.Suman. Meanwhile, The Cobras, went in with an unchanged team from their narrow defeat at the hands of the defending champions - Chennai Super Kings. Justin Kemp won the toss and decided to field first on a track where pundits reckoned that the team batting second would have a slight upper-hand. Despite a drizzle early on, the covers were off and the match was all poised to start in time. An intriguing contest was on the cards.


Dale Steyn and Charl Langerveldt, who kicked off the bowling for the Cape Cobras kept the Mumbai openers quiet until rookie, Sarul Kanwar dispatched a loosner over deep square leg for a glorious six. Steyn's figures took a beating as the Belligerent Blizzard whipped 10 runs off Steyn's 2nd over. Sarul Kanwar, whose stroke play was dashing, turned the heat on at the other end. Kemp's experiment with JP Duminy failed miserably as Kanwar went berserk to 'power' Mumbai to 59-0 in the powerplay.

Sarul Kanwar's sizzling cameo of 45 etched with 5 maximums and 3 fours was ended by Cobras' premier spinner Robin Peterson. Peterson was in the thick of things as the Cobras hit back to weather out Blizzard. Mumbai's shockingly over-ambitious attitude saw them press the suicide button as Shah's 3rd catch nailed Rayudu for 6 to leave Mumbai in a spot of bother. Kieron Pollard stood tall amidst the ruins to plunder fours and sixes at will to keep the run-rate soaring. James Franklin also stepped on the gas by picking up two maximums in the 15th over as the deadly duo consistently manufactured 10 run overs to propel Mumbai to 143-3 in 16.

Captain Courageous, Justin Kemp, came into the attack to break the devastating partnership as Franklin was undone for a run-a-ball 18. Pollard, who came down like a house on fire notched up his sparkling fifty off only 34 balls in the 18th over. The Cobras' bowlers were left bewildered as MI were up and running to post a gigantic score. Eventually, Steyn out-fired Pollard in the 19th as Shah accepted another simple catch. Symonds and Bhajji then took charge and Mumbai sprung up a mammoth total of 176-5 in 20 overs just as the rain came pouring down.

The heavy downpour showed no signs of dying down as the match officials were forced to abandon the game without a delivery being bowled in the 2nd innings. Thus, points had to be shared between the rampaging Mumbai Indians and the Cape Cobras. It indeed was a dampening conclusion to what was shaping up to be an entertaining contest. The split typifies that Group A is still wide open.

Mumbai who still sit pretty on top of Group A with 5 points will be disappointed as a thumping win against the Cape Cobras would have taken them through to the semis. Bhajji & Co. will take heart from their imperious batting show and will desperately want to confirm their semi-final berth by defeating the NSW Blues on Sunday in Chennai. Meanwhile, the Cobras sneaked away with the points being shared and will have to tighten up their bowling department before they meet T&T.


Mumbai Indians: A.Blizzard, J.Franklin, A.Symonds, K.Pollard, A.Rayudu, S.Kanwar, R.Satish, H.Singh(captain), L.Malinga, Y.Chahal, A.Nechim.

Cape Cobras: H.Gibbs, R.Levi, J.P.Duminy, O.Shah, D.Vilas, J.Kemp(captain), V.Philander, J.Ontong, R.Peterson, D.Steyn, C.Langerveldt.

Mini Scorecard:

Mumbai Indians: 176-5(20 overs, 8.80 rpo)
K.Pollard 58(37) R.Peterson 2-29
S.Kanwar 45(21) D.Steyn 1-24

Match abandoned due to rain

File Photograph Copyright:·James Rooney