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May 13, 2009

IPL teams race towards the semifinal

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Kings XI Punjab, photo by Greg Beadle

The Mumbai Indians gave the Kings XI Punjab a beating on Tuesday night when captain Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Bravo scored 70 runs and claimed victory for the team by eight wickets.

The Mumbai Indians have come a long way since their first match against the Chennai Super Kings at Newlands, Cape Town where they won by 19 runs. They have scrambled to the top, from ranking second-last two games ago to fourth place on the league table. 

“Generally, nothing works like a victory for a team,” said Tendulkar. “You can see it in the team, their body position, the intensity is greater. We would have liked to bat first, but we bowled really well.

Harbhajan (Singh) and JP (Duminy) were great and we held some brilliant catches. I felt that we could keep getting wickets at regular intervals on this pitch and decided that off spin was the right way to go.”

Encouraging Bravo to open with Sanath Jayasuriya was an experiment that brought great rewards. ”We needed a change at the top end and wanted to catch the opposition off guard and Dwayne did a magnificent job,” said Tendulkar.

Duminy took two wickets in his second over, dismissing Wilkin Mota and Yuvraj Singh.

The man of the match title went to Harbhajan, with figures of 1/9. 

“You hardly ever hear of a spinner getting the man of the match in Twenty 20 cricket, so this is pleasing,” said Harbhajan. “I’m very pleased with my performance today. We fielded very well, we were up for it, and we knew it was an important match. My first two balls I was trying to bowl slow, and to spin it away from the batsmen. That really set up my spell.”

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