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NEW DELHI: After the early loss of James Franklin, Sachin Tendulkar and Ambati Rayudu steadied the Mumbai Indian innings against Pune Warriors at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.

 

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Mumbai Indians lost their first wicket early in pursuit of 119 runs to win against the Warriors.

Scorecard

James Franklin (6) got forward and just chipped the leg stump full ball down mid on as Mithun Manhas took a simple catch.

Mumbai Indians produced a dominating bowling performance to restrict the Pune Warriors to 118 runs.

Without Harbhajan Singh, the Mumbai Indians were on fire on a hot and humid day at the Wankhede.

They reduced the Warriors to 17/4 and only some stubborn resistance from Uthappa and Murali Kartik saved them from slumping to one of the lowest totals in the IPL.

Uthappa fell to a stunning catch and though Rahul Sharma managed to hit a few fine shots, they could manage only 118.

Munaf Patel produced a brilliant spell to clinch two wickets in his second over.

After loosing the openers cheaply, Yuvraj Singh’s dismissal was a body blow for the Warriors. Munaf angled across a back of a length delivery outside off, Yuvraj stabbed at it, got an outside edge as Rayudu took a dolly.

Munaf dismissed Tim Paine for only 2 runs. Paine looked to pull over mid wicket, he swings and misses, the ball just cliped the bails and Paine was a goner.

Earlier, Pune Warriors captain Yuvraj Singh won the toss and elected to bat in their Indian Premier League match against Mumbai Indians.

Mumbai Indians made two changes from their last match playing eleven with James Franklin and Abu Nechim Ahmed coming in for Davy Jacobs and Harbhajan Singh.

Pune Warriors also made two changes with Tim Paine and Murali Kartik replacing Steven Smith and Wayne Parnell.

In the Ranji Trophy, a contest between Mumbai and Maharashtra has always been labelled as a David versus Goliath clash. Mumbai’s cricketing structure, pedigree and reputation has allowed them to dominate the Pune-based outfit over the years. While Pune have had their moments, they have been few and far between (2005, 2007). It also is a contest not sans spice and sledging and player clashes often reach another level. It’s a classic case of little brother trying to outdo the big one.

That, however, isn’t the case when the two teams from Mumbai and Pune clash in match 21 of the Indian Premier League at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday. Franchise-based cricket and the power of the greenbacks that helps buy the best talent, has ensured that the Yuvraj Singh-led Pune Warriors India (PWI) can compete as equals with Mumbai Indians (MI), led by Sachin Tendulkar.

Both teams have traversed similar paths in IPL-4 thus far. MI, the home side, notched up convincing wins away over Delhi Daredevils (DD) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). However, they were stunned by less fancied Kochi Tuskers Kerala (KTK), who chased down 182 without breaking sweat. PWI too thumped Kings XI Punjab and KTK before going down to DD, a side they were tipped to beat. Another eerie similarity is the fact that both teams chased down totals comfortably and the only time they lost was when they were defending.

Dew, which played its part in Sri Lanka failing to protect 274 in the World Cup final against India at the same venue, also hampered MI when they couldn’t stop KTK from getting to 182. However, a 4 pm start rules the possibility of dew playing spoilsport. Still, the captain who calls right would like to bowl first as the pitch is flat and the small boundaries, particularly straight down the ground, facilitates players with six-appeal.

MI would do well to have a look at the make-up of their side. In a top-heavy line-up, which is in form, can they afford to let a Symonds or a Pollard languish in the dug-out and not use their explosive batting talent? Aren’t they better off benching one of the two as they don’t offer you too much with the ball on flat surfaces and use the reliable James Franklin, who also gives you the variety that a left-arm-seamer brings with the territory?

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