Malinga stars in Mumbai victory

Malinga stars in Mumbai victory

Mumbai Indians began their Champions League Twenty20 campaign in style beating the defending champions Chennai Super Kings by three wickets in a match here on Saturday.

By (Agencies)

Published: Sun 25 Sep 2011, 12:16 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:37 AM

Chennai was cruising to victory at one stage but a 53-run eighth wicket partnership between Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh turned the tables in Mumbai’s favour as they clinched victory with one ball to spare.

Malinga smashed 37 from 18 balls, including three sixes, while Harbhajan gave good support by scoring 19 off 20 balls. Earlier Mike Hussey scored a blistering half-century to help Chennai Super Kings post 158 for four in their 20 overs. Hussey continued his good run of form and made 81 off just 57 balls with help of eight fours and three sixes to set the platform for the Chennai total on a relatively slow MA Chidambaram pitch.

During his impressive innings, Hussey didn’t get much support from the other end as star players Suresh Raina (18 off 17), S Badrinath (16) got out cheaply. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni however remained unbeaten on 22.

For Mumbai, young Assam pacer Abu Nechim Ahmed turned out to be the pick of the bowlers with figures of two for 35, while Lasith Malinga and Kieron Pollard snared a wicket each. Stand-in Mumbai captain Harbhajan Singh, who returned to competitive cricket on Saturday after recovering from his abdomen injury that he sustained in England recently, went for 32 runs in his four wicketless overs.

Contrary to the total, Chennai did not have the best of starts after opting to bat as opener Murali Vijay fell early, when a perfect Lasith Malinga yorker breached the India discard’s defence.

But Hussey then steadied the Chennai innings in Raina’s company as the duo shared a 30-ball 35-run second wicket stand before the latter was stumped in a stange manner by Davy Jacobs off Kieron Pollard’s bowling.

Next man in Badrinath tried his bit by scoring 16 off 21 balls but failed to prolong his stay at the crease, caught by Rajagopal Sathish off Abu Nechim in the 16th over.

But Hussey was in no mood to relent as after Badrinath’s departure he took Mumbai bowlers, expecially Malinga for a leatherhunt.

The left-handed Australian batsman seemed in a ferocious mood as he picked up 14 runs off Malinga in the 18th over before perishing in the next in search of quick runs. —

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