Sachin Tendulkar kept Sanath Jayasuriya away from bowling duties. And the hungry Sri Lankan feasted on the Chennai Super Kings bowlers, lashing 11 sixes in an awesome display of crisp, clean hitting as Mumbai Indians cruised to a nine-wicket victory in the DLF-Indian Premier League at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday.
Jayasuriya’s unbeaten 114 came off just 48 deliveries and he hit nine boundaries apart from the 11 sixes. Mumbai Indians, chasing 157 for victory, reached 158 for one in the 14th over in a one-sided encounter. Alarming regularity
Walking out to bat with Tendulkar — a sight straight out of fantasy — the Lankan played out the fantasy part by picking the line early against Manpreet Goni and Albie Morkel, clearing the ropes with alarming regularity.
Jayasuriya began the assault with a flicked six to mid-wicket and then stepped out to scoop the ball in the same region.
The Super Kings fielders watched in awe and dismay as the Lankan rocked on to the back foot to balls pitched around the off-stump and slashed effortlessly over point and cover. Goni went for 20 in one over, while Morkel appeared helpless as one over yielded 21.
Jayasuriya’s bat-speed and timing were so good that he had to just connect the ball to send it soaring into the stands.
Tendulkar rotated the strike, scampered across to admire the ‘sixes shower’ from the non-striker’s end. Joginder Sharma broke the reverie by castling Tendulkar, but by then the damage had been done. Mumbai Indians was so far ahead that even Muttiah Muralitharan, twirling the ball at the bowling crease, was no cause for fear.
Earlier, the stranglehold exerted by a collective effort from the Mumbai Indians bowlers continued under Tendulkar who took over from Shaun Pollock. A fifth-wicket stand of 95 in 61 balls between Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (43 n.o., 35b, 6x4, 1x6) and the in-form S. Badrinath (53, 33b, 7x4, 2x6) pulled the visitors out of trouble.
Pollock set the tone with a controlled first over, bowling to the field and denying the openers — S. Vidyut and Stephen Fleming — any liberties. He showed admirable mastery over swing and control with a maiden over against Dhoni to walk away with fantastic figures of 4-1-9-1.
The wily Dwayne Bravo (two for 37), well supported by the young Dhaval Kulkarni (three for 33), kept the batsmen in check before Dhoni joined Badrinath at the crease. The two negotiated some awkward moments and cut loose towards the end. Kulkarni, feeling the jitters when asked to bowl the 20th over, sent down three wides in a row.
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