Mumbai Indians’ disastrous campaign in the Champions League Twenty20 came to an end with their third defeat in four matches as they meekly surrendered to Sydney Sixers by 12 runs at Kingsmead, here yesterday.

Chasing a modest target of 137, Mumbai frittered away a good platform provided by openers Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith as they ended on 124 for eight in their stipulated 20 overs.

Tendulkar and Smith added 52 runs for the opening stand in 8.2 overs but the middle order failed miserably as the Big Bash champions clawed their way back into the match.

Mumbai Indians gained a lucky entry as the fourth IPL team in this tournament but their entire campaign was a nightmarish one as they failed to perform as a unit in high-pressure situations, thus ending on a winless note.

Unlike Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings, who played with a no-holds barred approach after being eliminated, the Mumbai Indians could not shrug off the rustiness that was their companion for the entire duration of the tournament.

Australia’s gen-next pacers, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins along with talented all-rounder Moises Henriques shared bulk of the spoils between them.

For Mumbai, Smith top-scored with 28-ball 26 while Tendulkar, who looked well set en route his 22, was once again bowled before he could make it big.

Mumbai kept on losing wickets at regular intervals as Rohit Sharma (16), Dinesh Karthik (18), Kieron Pollard (4) and Thisara Perere (2) failed to make any substantial contribution with the bat.

Earlier, a disciplined bowling effort by Mumbai helped them restrict Sydney to a modest 136 for seven.

Mumbai bowlers stuck to their task with pacers Lasith Malinga and Munaf Patel picking up a couple of wickets each.

Barring a few overs at the start, Mumbai bowlers put up a splendid show to stop the Australian side from posting a challenging total.

Steven Smith top-scored for Sydney with a run-a-ball 41 and together with Nic Maddinson (27) added 36 runs for the fourth-wicket partnership, which was the only highlight of the innings after the good start given by the openers.

Electing to bat, Michael Lumb and Peter Nevill provided Sydney Sixers with a solid start but Munaf’s twin strike in the sixth over pegged them back.

Malinga struck to give Mumbai first breakthrough having Lumb (28) caught by Smith at deep midwicket. Lumb added 33-run for the opening stand with Nevill. In the next over, Munaf’s double strike reduced the Sydney side to 40 for three in 5.3 overs.

Munaf first accounted for Nevill, who mistimed a pull shot only to find Thisara Perera at mid-on. Two balls later, Haddin departed without troubling the scorers as he was caught by Ambati Rayudu at cover-point while trying to play a cut shot. Munaf’s third over was a double-wicket maiden.

Sydney struggled to build any substantial partnership after the departure of their openers as they lost wickets at regular intervals.

Maddinson and Smith tried to revive the innings before the former got run-out by Malinga. Maddinson’s 13-ball knock included a couple of boundaries and an equal number of sixes.

Skipper Harbhajan Singh piled more misery on Sydney as he scalped Moises Henriques (0) to leave Sydney tottering at 77/5 in 12 overs.

Towards the end, Nathan McCullum scored an unbeaten 12-ball 20 to help his side reach a modest total.

(This article was published on October 23, 2012)
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