New Delhi:South Africa's Mark Boucher hammered an unbeaten 39 to ensure that Bangalore Royal Challengers defeated Mumbai Indians by five wickets with two balls to spare for their first win in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.
Boucher smashed four boundaries and two sixes and was involved in a crucial 55-run partnership for the fifth wicket with compatriot Jacques Kallis (25, 24 balls, 1x6) to script a thrilling win at a fully packed and noisy Wankhede Stadium.
Chasing 166 for a first win in the Twenty20 competition, the Vijay Mallya-owned Bangalore team survived a slow start and a mid-innings hiccup to romp home with two balls to spare.
Mark Boucher (39 not out) was the highest scorer for the Bangalore team while captain Rahul Dravid (32), Jacques Kallis (25) and Virat Kohli (23) also chipped in with useful contributions.
Stand-in captain Harbhajan Singh was the pick of the Mumbai bowlers with a couple of wickets to his name.
Earlier, a late assault by Shaun Pollock helped Mumbai Indians reach a competitive 165 for six.
The retired ace South African all rounder cracked three sixes and two fours in his 12-ball cameo while making 28 after coming in at number seven.
The hosts lost wickets regularly after stand-in captain Harbhajan Singh opted to bat first on winning the toss and their total was built mainly around opener Sanath Jayasuriya (29), top-scorer Robin Uthappa (48) and Pollock.
The home team, in the absence of injured captain Sachin Tendulkar, got off to a good beginning after the early fall of Luke Ronchi in the second over with Sanath Jayasuriya showing cracking form as he hit five fours and a six in his 16-ball knock before he was run out.
Dominic Thornely retired hurt and did not come out to bat again and was taken to hospital, where he is kept under observation.
Uthappa and Pinal Shah, the Baroda wicket keeper, joined forces and helped the score past the 70 mark at the halfway stage.
The stadium was nearly full at least an hour before the start of the match and huge frenzied crowds outside were seen making last-minute attempts to buy tickets.
A giant square balloon with the Mumbai Indians' team logo swayed lazily above the stadium in the gentle breeze from the Arabian Sea, barely 100 metres across the stadium.
The organizers distributed attractive blue tee-shirts, the colour of the home team Mumbai Indians, to the VIP guests and media corps and many of them were seen sporting it in the stands. For many, the IPL obviously came like the icing on the cake of a long weekend that ended on Sunday.
There was some disappointment in the air as it became clear that batting maestro and local hero Sachin Tendulkar would not be fit to play and Harbhajan Singh stepped in to lead the local team.
Bangalore made three changes in the XI that lost the tournament opener to Kolkata Knight Riders at home on Friday. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ross Taylor and R. Vinay Kumar replaced Wasim Jaffer, Cameron White and Ashley Noffke.
Bangalore captain Rahul Dravid must ensure not to allow a repeat of the carnage at the hands of Sri Lankan marauder Sanath Jayasuriya, who is bound to open the innings.
Mumbai: Sanath Jayasuriya, Luke Ronchi (wk), Robin Uthappa, Dominic Thornley, Abhishek Nayar, Pinal Shah, Shaun Pollock, Harbhajan Singh (capt), Dhawal Kulkarni, Musavir Khote, Ashish Nehra.
Bangalore: Rahul Dravid, B Akhil, Jacques Kallis, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Virat Kohli, Ross Taylor, Mark Boucher (wk), Praveen Kumar, Sunil Joshi, Zaheer Khan, R Vinay Kumar.