CLT20 Desk in Mumbai
Match Report: M18 - Sydney Sixers vs Mumbai Indians
Unbeaten Sixers march ahead in style
It was by no means a convincing performance with the bat by the Sixers. After opting to bat first, they were given a solid start by their openers. Michael Lumb chanced his arm on a sluggish track and dominated the partnership with Peter Nevil. The 33-run opening stand was broken when Lumb was caught on the midwicket fence; he made 28 from 22 balls and hit four boundaries in his knock. Nevill departed shortly after; and when skipper Brad Haddin departed two deliveries later – cutting a short delivery from Munaf Patel straight to point – the Sixers had frittered away a good start to slip to 40 for 3.
Nic Maddinson helped himself to two boundaries and as many sixes in his 13-ball cameo, which was curtailed by a direct hit by Lasith Malinga from point; the 20-year-old made 27 and dominated the 36-run partnership with Steve Smith.
Though the Sixers would continue to lose wickets regularly, a mature innings from Steve Smith ensured his team posted a respectable total. When it was time to step on the accelerator, the 23-year-old tried to improvise and attempted to paddle Lasith Malinga, but exposed his wickets and lost his leg stump; he made a run-a-ball 41 (the highest score in the match) and hit three boundaries in his knock.
Steve O’Keefe was the only other noteworthy contribution in the Sixers’ innings; he made 20 off 12 balls. The Sixers would eventually finish their 20 overs at a challenging 136 for 7.
Munaf Patel, called into the Mumbai Indians playing XI at the expense of Dhawal Kularni, was the pick of the bowlers; after conceding a boundary of the first ball of the match, the 29-year-old recovered brilliantly to not concede a boundary in the remainder of his spell and finished with impressive figures of two for 17 from his four overs. Harbhajan Singh too bowled well to finish with one for 22 from his four overs, while Lasith Malinga (who came in for some punishment) and Thisara Perera chipped in with wickets.
In the run-chase, the Mumbai Indians too floundered away a solid start given away by their openers. Dwayne Smith and Sachin Tendulkar added 52 in eight overs, before the former holed out to long-on. Tendulkar (22 of 23 balls), who hit a couple of great drives – including a six straight down the ground – departed later in the same over when he lost his stumps to Moises Henriques.
Rohit Sharma hit a couple of boundaries through point and pulled a long hop from Nathan McCullum over midwicket, before Pat Cummins’ throw caught him short of his ground. When the big-hitting Kieron Pollard, Dinesh Karthik and Thisara Perera were dismissed in a span of two overs, the Mumbai Indians innings was fast disintegrating. From 89 for 3 when Pollard and Karthik were together, the Mumbai Indians had slipped to 104 for 8 in the space of 3.1 overs. Even a cameo from Harbhajan Singh (22 of 9 balls) – the only batsman to score at more than a run-a-ball – couldn’t rescue the Mumbai Indians, who eventually finished their 20 overs at 124 for 8.
The Sixers pacers were relentless; they bowled quick, straight, hurried the batsmen and troubled almost every Mumbai Indians player. Pat Cummins was the pick of the lot, returning with figures of two for 16 in his four overs, while Henriques and Mitchell Starc chipped in with two wickets each. The Sixers were exceptional in the field too; while they dived around and saved several runs, they also held on to some spectacular catches.
Brief Scores :Sydney Sixers 136-7 in 20.0 overs (Michael Lumb 28, Nic Maddinson 27, Steve Smith 41, Munaf Patel 2-17) beat Mumbai Indians 124-8 in 20.0 overs (Dwayne Smith 26, Pat Cummins 2-16).
Man of the Match: Steve Smith, for his run-a-ball 41, and the catch to dismiss Ambati Rayudu.