IPL 5: Brave Mumbai beat Punjab in their den
Ambati Rayudu (34) and Robin Peterson (16) creamed leg-spinner Piyush Chawla for 27 runs in the penultimate over to snatch a stunning four-wicket victory from the jaws of defeat against Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League match, on Wednesday.
Robin Peterson borrowed shots from his namesake, Kevin Pietersen, as he played a cameo punctuated with switch hits on his IPL debut to snatch victory for the Mumbai Indians. Peterson scored 15 runs off four balls in the penultimate over and Ambati Rayudu smacked two sixes to cost Kings XI 27 runs. The pair took Mumbai from a position where victory seemed unlikely, with 32 runs needed of 12 balls, to where it became an obvious conclusion with only five runs to get in the last over.
After allowing Kings XI Punjab to post their highest total in IPL 2012 with a bowling effort that was dominated by deliveries that were too short, Mumbai were favourites to win when Rohit Sharma was at the crease, marching to his half-century. Parvinder Awana swung the pendulum back towards Kings XI with a double strike in his final over - the 18th - in which he removed both Sharma and Harbhajan Singh. Peterson and Rayudu had the final say though, as they ravaged the 19th over and prevented Kings XI from completing the home and away double against Mumbai this season.
In an innings which mirrored the Kings XI's, Mumbai started solidly, were held up in the middle and blazed their way through to the end. Sachin Tendulkar and James Franklin, who was moved to open the batting in the previous match and stayed there, built a sturdy foundation. Tendulkar started by sweeping Bhargav Bhatt to long-leg, allowing his touches of finesse to shine through. Franklin clipped Praveen Kumar through midwicket and drove Parvinder Awana over the covers and the pair put on a fuss-free fifty-two run stand.
Azhar Mahmood caused some jitters in the Mumbai camp when he had Franklin caught behind off a beautiful delivery that nipped away from him. In his next over, Mahmood accounted for Tendulkar, who got a thin inside edge through to Nitin Saini. Piyush Chawla had Dinesh Karthik caught at short fine leg and Mumbai were no longer in command. It set the stage for Rohit, who had not performed to expectation so far, to step up and he did. He announced his intent by smashing Chawla for a flat six over long-off and helped himself to boundaries off full tosses offered by both Awana and Praveen when they missed their lines.
Rohit was guiding Mumbai to victory when he slashed the ball to Mahmood at backward point and the advantage returned to Kings XI. Harbhajan made little contribution as he top-edged without moving his feet to be caught at long-off and Mumbai seemed to need a little miracle to dig themselves out of the hole Awana created.
Peterson started the seemingly impossible, switch hitting Chawla twice for four and slog sweeping him for six before Rayudu launched the legspinner for back to back sixes. Mahmood made it tough for Mumbai to score the last five but they did so with a ball to spare to claim a memorable win.
Kings XI would have thought they had enough runs at the halfway stage, having scored 88 runs off the last seven overs of their innings. David Hussey and David Miller starred in the last third of the Kings XI innings to give them a competitive total on a slow surface with a fourth-wicket stand that mixed defiance with aggression.
Saini and Mandeep Singh built a sturdy foundation for Kings XI with an opening stand of 35 but Kings XI stagnated when Mandeep was dismissed. They scored just 12 runs in four overs after Mandeep returned to the dug out and crawled to the 10-over mark at 56 for 2. In a surprise move, Harbhajan brought Franklin on to bowl and he slowed Kings XI up further. He bowled four good balls upfront, which yielded only four runs, before Shaun Marsh attempted to slice a ball over the off-side but top-edged it to Harbhajan at cover, who took a swirling catch.
Miller was the perfect for partner for Hussey and showed aggression from the get-go, when he pulled the second ball he faced, a short one from RP, through midwicket. Having seen short balls get punished, Kieron Pollard offered Hussey two more and was clubbed over midwicket and upper cut over third man.
Munaf Patel searched for yorkers but missed his length and dished out full tosses. Miller swiped him over long-on and Hussey did the same, to bring up a well-earned half-century. Clint McKay copied Munaf and got the yorker right on occasion. Still, he did not survive the late assault from Hussey, who steered him third man and made room to hit him over his head for six. Munaf finished the innings having conceded back to back sixes off Miller, who ended unbeaten on 34 off 17 balls.