Mitchell Johnson of Mumbai Indians bowls during their match against Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League in Pune on May 11, 2013. Photo by Pal Pillai-IPL-SPORTZPICS .
Riding on an all-round performance, Mumbai Indians closed down on a play-off spot with a comprehensive five-wicket win over last-placed Pune Warriors, who suffered their ninth consecutive loss in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium here today.
It was a disciplined bowling performance by Mumbai Indians, led by pacer Mitchell Johnson, that restricted Pune Warriors to a paltry 112 for eight in 20 overs.
Mumbai Indians then achieved the target, scoring 116 runs with seven balls to spare after losing five wickets. The chase did not get off well but a strong show by the middle-order helped them cross the line easily with more than an over to spare.
Skipper Rohit Sharma was the top scorer with 37 and Ambati Rayudu struck 26 off 23 balls.
Pune Warriors bowlers did well to reduce Mumbai Indians to 39/3 in the eighth over, but Rayudu and Sharma took them to within sniffing distance of a win with their 54-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Both Rayudu and Sharma departed when the Mumbai Indians were on the threshhold of victory, but Glenn Maxwell, the most expensive player bought this season, playing his maiden IPL match took the team home safely with an unbeaten 13.
Mumbai Indians jumped to the second spot in the table with 18 points from 13 matches while Pune Warriors remained at the bottom with just four points from 14 matches.
Electing to bat first, Pune Warriors lost both openers Robin Uthappa (11) and Finch in quick succession and were reduced to 25 for two within five overs.
Johnson turned on the heat early on by removing skipper Aaron Finch (10) in the third over caught by Dwayne Smith at short cover. Johnson was also exceptional at the death over and got Kane Richards (8) to finish with impressive figures of 2/8 from his four overs.
Speedsters Lasith Malinga (2/27) and Abu Nechim Ahmed (2/27) also came up with inspiring performances.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was also economical giving away just 14 runs from his four overs and picked up the important wicket of Yuvraj Singh, who was the top scorer with 33 off 29 balls.
With Pune struggling at 25/2, Yuvraj Singh and Manish Pandey (29) added crucial 59 runs in 60 balls for the third wicket to rescue the innings.
Yuvraj, who has been dropped from the Indian squad for the Champions Trophy due to poor form, looked like he had found his old touch. He hit a four and two sixes to entrall the crowd, but could not convert the good start into a big knock that was the need of the hour.
Yuvraj found an able ally in Pandey, who struck a run—a—ball 29, and it looked like Pune would get to a competitive total. But Pandey's dismissal in the 13th over triggered a batting collapse as, from 82/2, Pune slumped to 99/6.
Former skipper Angelo Matthews failed to open his account and was run out while attempting a non-existent single and Sachin Tendulkar’s direct hit found him short of crease and two balls later Yuvraj followed him to the pavilion. From 99/6, Warriors managed 112 for eight as Mumbai Indian bowlers were exceptional in the death overs.
Robin Uthappa lbw Malinga 11
Aaron Finch c Smith b Johnson 10
Manish Pandey c Rayudu b Malinga 29
Yuvraj Singh lbw Harbhajan Singh 33
Angelo Mathews run out (Tendulkar) 0
Abhishek Nayar c Harbhajan Singh b Ahmed 11
Kane Richardson c Harbhajan Singh b Johnson 8
Parvez Rasool not out 4
Bhuvneshwar Kumar c Smith b Ahmed 2
Extras (b 1, lb 2, nb 1) 4
Total (for eight wickets in 20 overs) 112
Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Finch, 2.5 overs), 2-25 (Uthappa, 4.4), 3-84 (Pandey, 12.6), 4-85 (Mathews, 13.3), 5-85 (Yuvraj Singh, 13.5), 6-99 (Richardson, 17.3), 7-109 (Nayar, 19.3), 8-112 (Kumar, 19.6)
Mitchel Johnson 4-0-8-2
Abu Nechim Ahmed 4-0-27-2
Lasith Malinga 4-0-27-2
Pragyan Ojha 3-0-28-0
Harbhajan Singh 4-0-14-1
Glenn Maxwell 1-0-5-0
Dwayne Smith b Dinda 0
Sachin Tendulkar c Pandey b Mendis 15
Dinesh Karthik c Pandey b Yuvraj Singh 17
Rohit Sharma c Dinda b Richardson 37
Ambati Rayudu c Mathews b Dinda 26
Glenn Maxwell not out 13
Harbhajan Singh not out 4
Extras (w 4) 4
Total (for five wickets in 18.5 overs) 116
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Smith, 0.1 overs), 2-25 (Tendulkar, 4.3), 3-39 (Karthik, 7.2), 4-93 (Rayudu, 15.6), 5-112 (Sharma, 18.2)
Ashok Dinda 4-0-35-2
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-0-12-0
Kane Richardson 3.5-0-24-0
Ajantha Mendis 4-0-15-1
Yuvraj Singh 4-0-21-1
Parvez Rasool 1-0-5-0
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