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IPL: Mumbai Indians thrash Pune Warriors by 21 runs

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A brilliant all-round display by the Mumbai Indians saw them thrash Pune Warriors by 21 runs and regain pole position in the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai here last night.

Set a target of 161 for victory, only Manish Pandey put up some resistance on behalf of the Warriors, making a 47-ball 59 with four boundaries and three sixes as Pune finished at 139 for seven wickets in their 20 overs.

With this win, Mumbai Indians have notched up 14 points from nine matches, while Pune Warriors continue to be the cellar team with four points from nine matches with seven losses on the trot.

The Pune Warriors, who needed to win this game to have a chance of advancing into the next round, began their chase in the worst possible manner when Jesse Ryder was dismissed first ball of the

innings as the left-hander tried to cut Harbhajan Singh but only managed to give a tame catch to Dhawal Kulkarni at point.

Graeme Smith, coming back after an injury, also did not last long as after making 6 runs he tried to pull a short one from Munaf Patel which got a bit big on him and he only managed to give a catch to mid- wicket where Aiden Blizzard made no mistake to leave Pune Warriors on 17 for two.

Surprisingly, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala walked in next and he also did not survive for too long, making just 10 runs before he tried to pull a short one from Kieron Pollard and only managed a top edge which was taken by keeper Rayudu who moved to his right to gobble up the chance.

Yuvraj Singh then joined Pandey who was batting well, having hit Symonds for a six over mid-wicket, and the two began to get the run chase back on track with Yuvraj smashing Pollard for a huge six over square leg and then smashing Harbhajan Singh over long-off for another big six.

Yuvraj then smashed a boundary off Malinga, but was undone by a superb bouncer the next ball which took the edge of his bat down to third man where Patel took a good diving catch to send the Pune Warriors' captain back after a 16-ball 20 with one four and two sixes. At that stage, Pune Warriors were in all sorts of trouble at 77 for four.

Pandey tried his best, but a disciplined Mumbai Indians attack and their razor sharp fielding thwarted his efforts. Pandey, along with Robin Uthappa who made an unbeaten 34 (26 balls) with two sixers, saw the Pune Warriors finish with 139 for seven wickets to go down by 21 runs and with it their chances of qualifying for the next round.

Malinga with three for 25 was once again the most successful bowler for Mumbai Indians.

Earlier, leg-spinner Rahul Sharma’s dream spell of seven runs for two wickets in his four overs was negated a bit by big hitting Pollard and Tirumalsetti Suman as Mumbai Indians after being 96 for four managed to reach a competitive score of 160 for seven wickets in their 20 overs.

Mumbai Indians, who were put in to bat by Pune Warriors, began their innings with Sachin Tendulkar and Aiden Blizzard, who was playing his first match, but this opening partnership also did not get going with Blizzard being caught magnificently by wicket keeper Robin Uthappa who dived in front of second slip to come up with a beauty off the bowling of A Thomas. Blizzard made 6 with Mumbai Indians on 18 for one.

Ambati Rayudu then joined Tendulkar and the two best batsmen for the Mumbai Indians in this edition of the tournament once again began confidently with the little master smashing three boundaries behind square on the leg side and Rayudu hitting Jerome Taylor for a hooked four and then guided the same bowler over the slips for another four.

However, just when the two looked like settling down and playing a long partnership, Tendulkar fell to his counterpart Yuvraj Singh when he tried to go inside out over covers but only managed to hit the ball in the air towards cover where Ryder took a good low catch to dismiss the Mumbai Indians captain for 24 which came off 24 balls with five boundaries.

Yuvraj Singh in his next over got another big wicket when in-form batsman Rayudu was dismissed. Rayudu tried to smash Yuvraj over long-off but only managed to hole out to Manish Pandey there.

Rayudu made 27 off 28 balls with two boundaries to leave Mumbai Indians in a bit of trouble at 69 for three.

However, Suman promoted up the order ahead of Pollard and Andrew Symonds repaid the faith shown in him with a little cameo of 36 off 16 balls with three fours and three sixes before he holed out to long- off where Mithun Manhas took an easy catch.

With Symonds also failing to get going, making only three, Pollard decided to come to the party for the first time in this year’s IPL smashing A Thomas for 28 runs in the 19th over of the innings before being out off the last ball of the 20th over for a 21-ball 30 with two fours and two sixes to take Mumbai Indians to a competitive score.

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