Punjab scrape through to the semi-finals in a last ball thriller
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:Mumbai Indians v Kings XI Punjab
Player:SE Marsh, JR Hopes, LA Pomersbach, DPMD Jayawardene, IK Pathan, ST Jayasuriya, SR Tendulkar, AM Nayar, SM Pollock, SD Chitnis, S Sreesanth
Event:Indian Premier League 2007/08

DateLine: 22nd May 2008


This was easily the closest match of the DLF Indian Premier League so far, the one between the Mumbai Indians and the Kings XI Punjab, and it had its fair share of Alfred Hitchcock like, twists and turns and in the end, it was the team which held its nerve and played better under pressure that won the match. The Punjab team won the match by a margin of one solitary run.


At the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Sachin Tendulkar won the toss and elected to field first, on a track that was supposed to play slower and lower as the game progressed. To counter that Tendulkar also got in two spinners, Siddharth Chitnis and Vikrant Yeligati into the playing XI. Punjab went in with one change as well, getting left handed Tanmay Srivastava in place of Ramesh Powar.


Shaun Pollock got an early wicket of James Hopes, caught behind for a duck off a peach of a delivery, but then the batsman in form, Shaun Marsh was joined by his Western Australian team mate Luke Pomersbach. The two added 133 runs for the second wicket and were particularly severe on the two new Mumbai spinners. Dilhara Fernando also went for a few runs, as Tendulkar failed to make the bowling changes he would have, had he had a battery of bowlers. Marsh did fall to Chitnis and that brought a slowdown in the scoring, but in the end, Pomersbach slammed fifty runs off the last four overs, as Punjab reached 189/4 in the 20. What was the most surprising aspect was that Pollock conceded only 14 runs off his three overs, never came onto bowl his fourth, which would have mattered a great deal in the final analysis.


Mumbai’s start was lightened up by Sreesanth’s seven wides off the first ball and Sanath Jayasuriya’s brilliant start as he scored a 12-ball 20 to propel the team forward to 36 in the third over, before losing his wicket. Tendulkar, the other opener was then joined by the new recruit Dwayne Smith, and the two batted as if they had been playing cricket for years together. Despite Smith’s departure, Abhishek Nayar and Tendulkar kept within touching distance of the run-rate, when Mumbai Indians committed hara-kiri. First Tendulkar was run-out for a non existent single – Mumbai had needed barely over 30 in four overs then – which was followed by Uthappa, Pollock and Pinal Shah all giving their wickets away in a hurry. At the beginning of the last over, Punjab was clearly on top, as Mumbai needed 19 runs to win and had only the tailenders to boot. But VRV Singh first bowled a no-ball that was hit by Chitnis for a six, and then slammed him for another four. Needing 8 in four, Chitnis ran himself out going for a second, and soon Ashish Nehra too got run-out with four to win off two. Yeligati scored two off the penultimate delivery, but failed to do much with the last, and was brilliantly run-out – again, the fifth of the inning – by Yuvraj, a la Jonty Rhodes style.


Punjab won the match by one run, Shaun Marsh was declared the Man-of-the-Match, and the team is through to the semi-finals now.