MI crushes RCB to qualify for Champions League.
Sachin Tendulkar led Mumbai Indians crushing win over Anil Kumble led Royal Challengers of Bangalore ensured that Mumbai became the first team to qualify for Champions League. The win also ensured that Mumbai would not go empty handed in IPL 2010 as they are assured of at least the runner up trophy should they lose the final. This is a spectacular achievement for a team which fell at the doorstep of semi finals in the first edition of the tournament in 2008, and made a mess of their chances in the previous edition at South Africa in 2009.
It would have been a tragedy if Bangalore had won the semi finals because Mumbai Indians were outstanding throughout the tournament while Bangalore did not even deserve to make the semis considering their pathetic form in the latter half of the tournament. Mumbai Indians played like Champions to win the semi finals because they had to make at least four comebacks in the match to post a total which in the end was too much for Bangalore.
Firstly Mumbai Indians were dented very early in the innings with a rare failure from their skipper Sachin Tendulkar, who has been in outstanding form throughout the tournament. Shikar Dhawan gifted his wicket with the score on 29 after 3.4 overs and a double strike in the 10th over meant Mumbai were reeling at 77 for 4 and were looking at a score in the region of 140 to 155. However what separated the Mumbai Indians was whenever there was a crisis they found a miracle man and Tiwari and Pollard performed the job for them much in the same way Harbhajan and Pollard had performed in the league stages when the team was struggling to get going.
While it was Tiwary who held the innings in the company of Rayudu before launching a assault in the final quarter of the innings to take Mumbai towards a defendable total, Pollards blazing innings and his partnership of 40 of a mere 14 deliveries ensured that the target of 184 was beyond the control of Bangalore. Rayudus role should not be forgotten because he cleverly counter attacked in the initial stages of the innings to keep the momentum going before settling down later to ensure that there are sufficient runs on the board for a late charge for the big hitters like Pollard.
If Mumbai Indians have made the final, there is an area in which their skipper Sachin Tendulkar needs to be given credit. Unlike most teams which bat down the order, SachinTendulkar ensured that Mumbai Indians batting is top heavy for Sachin thinks 4 to 6 good batsmen who are picked in the team should be capable enough to last out the 20 overs so that the remaining spots can be allocated to specialist bowlers. Also Sachin's line of thinking is it is easier for a well set top order batsmen to have a late charge in the innings than for a all rounder or a tail ender and that is what proved decisive in this tournament. There were quite a few matches in which Mumbai Indians found themselves at 100 odd after 15 overs but well set top order batsmen got the runs for them at a blistering pace in the last quarter of the innings with the exception being Harbhajan Singhs late charge against Deccan Chargers.
Sachin Tendulkar though known for getting runs at a blistering pace is known to get them with technically correct cricketing strokes and without taking too many risks and that is what his team mates copied for them for Mumbai Indians are the only team who have batted out the full quota of overs in the entire tournament without being dismissed. For the record Mumbai Indians have played 15 matches and are yet to lose all 10 wickets in a innings a record which should be a cause of concern for Deccan Chargers and Chennai Super Kings playing for a place in the final against Mumbai Indians.
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