Duminy propels Mumbai to victory

EAST LONDON: JP Duminy slammed an unbeaten half-century to set the Mumbai Indians on their way to a nine-run victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders in East London today.

The South Africa batsman's 37-ball innings helped his side set a 149-run victory target, which Kolkata looked well on track to get at 97 for two with more than five overs to go.

But sensational bowling at the death from Lasith Malinga (none for 23) and Zaheer Khan (three for 31) overshadowed Brad Hodge's composed 73 as the Knight Riders slipped to their fifth loss in seven games.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Mumbai's innings never really got going with wickets falling at regular intervals.

First to go was Sanath Jayasuriya (six) in the fourth over when he edged Ashok Dinda behind to Morne van Wyk, with the ploy to send Harbhajan Singh (six) in at three also failing as he too perished cheaply.

Captain Sachin Tendulkar tried his best to build momentum and, after hitting Ajit Agarkar for a six and a four earlier in the over, went for a shot too many and was caught by opposite number Brendon McCullum diving forward at short cover for 34.

Hodge then cleaned up Abhishek Nayar (10) leaving Mumbai at 71 for four in the 12th over, before Graham Napier, making his Indian Premier League debut on the day he was named in England's World Twenty20 squad, top-edged Chris Gayle to McCullum at mid-on for 15.

But Duminy kept his wicket at the other end raising his 50 with a maximum off Dinda, which was also the final ball of the innings as Mumbai ended at 148 for six.

In response, Zaheer immediately set Kolkata on the back foot when he bowled Sourav Ganguly (nought), who was promoted to open the batting instead of the out-of-sorts McCullum, and Gayle (seven) in his first two overs.

It could have been worse in the sixth over, but Harbhajan missed a regulation run-out, dropping the ball at the non-strikers with Van Wyk well short.

And the batsman made him pay, bringing up the half-century stand with Hodge in 44 balls, followed by the Australian's 50 in the same number of deliveries.

The pair put on 89 for the third wicket, a record for the IPL, before Napier grabbed his first wicket when he had Van Wyk excellently caught by Duminy running forward from long-on for 32.

Zaheer then came back into the attack and again set the cat amongst the pigeons when he bowled Laxmi Ratan Shukla (six) with 30 to get in 16 balls.

Then came a decisive penultimate over from Malinga, who conceded just four runs, including the wicket of Hodge, run out by Duminy whilst attempting a second run leaving 20 to get in the final over.

McCullum succumbed off the third ball and with it went Kolkata's hopes as they ended with 139 for six.