Rajasthan win thriller, Delhi in semis

Mumbai Indians fumble the last ball to dent their chances of making it to the semis.

updated: May 31, 2008 10:25 IST
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The pressure was intense and Mumbai Indians couldn't handle it. In a tense last ball finish it was advantage Mumbai, but they panicked, and Rajasthan Royals sneaked home for their seventh straight win at home.

Having set the Royals 146 to win, Mumbai bowled and fielded well to hold the hosts down to 103-5 in the 18th over. It all came down to 15 off six balls to be bowled by Dilhara Fernando. At the crease were two left-handers Niraj Patel --- getting his first big knock in the IPL --- and the dangerous Ravindra Jadeja.

Patel took a single off the first ball. The next ball, Jadeja had an inside edge that slipped to fine leg. Ashish Nehra put in a desperate dive to save a run, limited Rajasthan to three. Next ball was on length, and Patel swung over long on for a big six.

Five from three balls, and two singles followed. It came down to three from one ball, with Patel on strike. But horrors of horrors, Fernando bowled a wide down the leg side.

Last ball; two runs needed.

Fernando bowled full, Patel tried to pull it, mistimed it. The ball rolled towards the bowler. Fernando lunged at it and missed. The batsman ran the single to tie the scores. But they started an impossible second run to win the game.

The fielder at long on ran in to throw the ball back to the bowler's end. Easy run out chance. But it took an experienced veteran of 400 ODIs to fumble the easy throw and miss the run out. Sanath Jayasuriya failed to take the throw, and Jadeja completed the impossible second run to take Rajasthan to a five-wicket win.

The points table --- what happens to Mumbai now?

If Mumbai are to make the semis, Chennai have to lose Tuesday's match against Hyderabad. If Chennai win this game, it would be bye-bye Mumbai.

If Chennai lose, Mumbai have one final game left --- against the lowly Bangalore. Mumbai must win it, and tie Chennai for points, since both would be then on 14. It would then come down to run rate.

Mumbai would also want Chennai to lose on Tuesday by a big margin to keep the run rate situation within reach.

However, Delhi are still at No. 3 and they are certain to play the semis now.

Tendulkar vs Warne battle fizzles out

It was supposed to be the battle of the two greats of our times. Sachin Tendulkar got his eye in with a slow, painful 30 as did his opening partner Jayasuriya, with 38.

The duo added 71 in 11 overs. The public had to wait till the tenth over when Warne brought himself on, against Tendulkar. Tendulkar immediately paddled his arch rival for a two to fine leg.

A big finish was needed by Mumbai to pose a challenge to the all-conquering Royals, but instead, they struggled against the clever pace variation of Sohail Tanvir and Siddharth Trivedi.

Trivedi accounted for both openers, who struggled to get a measure of the seamer. Later, Tanvir ran through the Mumbai middle order taking 4-13 in his full quota of overs.

With it, Tanvir has become the top wicket taker in the IPL.