VISHU brings along victory ! KTK vs MI Apr 14 2010.

Not even a single punter would have backed The Kochi Tuskers Kerala to stage an upset against the invincible looking Mumbai Indians in their own backyard. Jayawardhane and his boys were coming after back to back losses and they were in need of a victory more than their counterparts. Tusker’s previous two outings were humdingers and went right down the wire. These matches witnessed fortune deserting them right at the final moment. Sachin’s team boasted of a bowling which had the likes of Malinga and Munaf in the ranks. The former especially was in the limelight for his awe inspiring performances so far in the tournament. His toe crushers arrested the shots from the Marauder Sehwag himself containing him for one over without conceding any runs. His exploits against the sapped Daredevils saw the Mumbai Indians claiming a facile victory.

Jayawardene elected to field after winning the toss. This proved costly since the bowlers were taken to cleaners more often than not. Gomez was the lone wicket taker who snared Davey Jacobs. From then on Wankhade witnessed the coming together of Sachin and Ambatti Rayudu. They both gelled well and produced a partnership which was worth gold. The little master tried some unnecessary shots and still managed to survive. He went onto score his maiden T20 century. Rayudu too was in good nick. His lusty blows saw the ball traveling the distance down the ground off spinners and the quicks. The score to beat was 188.

The crowd was behind the Mumbai Indians and they were efficacious about a victory for the Mumbai Indians tonight. Their fortress had the likes of fiery bowlers and stingy spinners impatiently waiting to cut loose on the Kochi line up. Jayawardene’s move to promote himself alongside the dashing Mccullum proved right. Jaya carried on from where he left in the World Cup finals. The World Cup centurion was in good nick. He proved that T20 is not all about power hitting or hammering the ball but caressing and deftly negotiating it. All the shots played by the former Lankan captain had elegance written all over it. He cut , pulled and placed the ball with ease and surgical precision. Meanwhile , Brendon Mccullum was a perfect foil for his skipper. He played a cleverly crafted innings comprising lusty blows and cheeky shots. Both the seasoned batsmen took the fight to the Mumbai Indians camp. Malinga, Pollard and Harbhajan were left with no tricks in their repertoire to halt the openers of  Tuskers.

They took the bull by its horns. When Malinga was brought into the attack the crowd went delirious. Mccullum silenced the crowd by making the ball disappear as fast it was released from the slinger’s arm. He scored four fours off Malinga off his second over. They cleverly conjured a partnership which crossed three figure marks. The Kochi team’s rooters skipped a beat when Mccullum and Jayawardhene were back into the dugout in quick succession. The former was undone when he miscued a swoop and the ball penetrated the latter’s  defence. The game was still alive. Two new batsmen were in the crease. Brad Hodge and Jadeja kept the score card ticking with quick singles and doubles. Jadeja launched two balls into the crowd in the penultimate over and made sure that Kochi registered its maiden win in the IPL. This was an upset by all means and Tendulkar emphasised that fielding was the huge difference between the two sides.  Mcullum , fittingly was adjudged the man of the match !

Kochi takes on the Chennai Super Kings in their backyard.

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