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IPL 2013 – MI vs PWI: Mumbai Go No. 2 By Trampling Warriors

By on May 11, 2013

IPL 2013 - MI vs PWI: Mitchell JohnsonMumbai Indians 116 for 5 (Rohit 37) beat Pune Warriors India 112 for 9 (Yuvraj 33, Johnson 2-8) by 5 wickets…

A subdued start and sorry finish to Pune Warriors’ innings set the scene for their 12th loss in 14 matches this season, as Mumbai Indians sauntered to second place on the table with a five-wicket win. Having chosen to bat, Warriors never really spurred their innings towards an acceptable run rate, and although they were building towards a platform from which they could launch, a cluster of dismissals heralded a woeful end to their innings. They managed just 34 off their last eight overs and ended on 112 for 8.

The slow pitch made Mumbai’s chase a touch tougher than it ought to have been, but despite losing Dwayne Smith first ball, they were never really challenged. Rohit Sharma made 37, and his 54-run partnership with Ambati Rayudu effectively secured victory, which was achieved with seven balls remaining. Their net run-rate put them above Rajasthan Royals, and the middling teams will struggle to deprive them of a playoffs spot.

Having been on 84 for 2 at one stage, Warriors seemed a side that had forgotten how to win, as they were derailed in a six-ball period that yielded three wickets. Manish Pandey hit a Lasith Malinga full toss straight to deep midwicket, before Angelo Mathews fell, responding to Yuvraj Singh’s poor call in the next over, before Yuvraj himself was caught in front by Harbhajan Singh. The running between the wickets was ordinary, and had the Mumbai fielders hit the stumps half as often as their fielding coach Jonty Rhodes did in his career, Warriors might have struggled to make 90.

The only period Warriors seemed capable of making a competitive total was when Yuvraj Singh was at the crease, and even he, during his 29-ball stay, could not manage a strike rate better than 114. He struck consecutive leg-side sixes off Pragyan Ojha in the 11th over, signaling an intention to shake Warriors out of their ponderous tempo, but he was out three overs later having done little else, and stunningly, those sixes were the last boundaries hit in the hosts’ innings. The Mumbai death-bowling was tight, rather than extraordinary, and the pitch was a little difficult, but the Warriors batsmen never adjusted to the pace of the surface and swing after swing, they continued to mistime their shots into the deep, or miss the ball completely. Mitchell Johnson finished with the best figures in the match, having taken two wickets for eight runs in his four overs.

Ashok Dinda, who was among five changes to the Warriors side, bowled a peach to uproot Dwayne Smith’s off stump first ball, but with so few to chase, Mumbai could afford to regroup safely. Ajantha Mendis was the best of Warriors’ bowlers, taking 1 for 15 from his full quota, but no one was able to deliver the spell that would cause a serious scare in the opposition dugout.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo‘s Sri Lanka correspondent

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