East London:Elated after his team's second successive win against Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, Mumbai Indians captain Sachin Tendulkar singled out JP Duminy for praise and said the South African's presence till the end made all the difference.
Duminy remained unbeaten on 52 to help the Mumbai outfit, 96 for five after 16 overs, post a competitive total of 148 for six and the total proved just enough to defend.
Tendulkar had no hesitation in admitting that Duminy's sterling knock tilted the game in Mumbai's favour.
"I think Duminy set the match for us," Tendulkar said. "Not to forget about our bowlers, including Zaheer (Khan) but I think Duminy staying till the end made the difference for us," he said.
Abhishek Nayar bowled the last over for Mumbai as both Zaheer and Lasith Malinga had exhausted their quota. Tendulkar said it was a calculated risk which paid off in the end.
"I wanted my strike bowlers to bowl first and get the breakthrough because for a new batsman, it was not easy to come and score runs. So if my main bowlers remove their set batsmen, we can put pressure on them and this is exactly what happened," Tendulkar explained.
Tendulkar's opposite number Brendon McCullum was dejected to concede yet another defeat.
"It was a close match and I'm little disappointed. We fought well and forced through ahead. Hodge and van Wyk played really well and their partnership was crucial for us," he said.
"When two guys get going, things are quite easy for you. Brad played incredibly well before he was run out and we could not take our chances," rued the Kiwi player.
Out of form so far in the tournament, McCullum came down at number six but could manage just five runs before perishing at a crucial stage.
"I was trying to bring out my game. When someone like Malinga bowls as well as he did today, it was really difficult to score boundaries off him because of his accuracy," McCullum said.
Duminy, who was adjudged Man of the Match for his stellar show, said the pitch was not easy to bat on but he was determined to hang on till the end.
"It was not the easiest pitch to bat on and I knew spinners would have some role to play here. But the idea was to stay till the end," said the left-hander.