Cape Town, April 18: Sachin Tendulkar hit an unbeaten half-century as he led the Mumbai Indians to a 19-run win against the Chennai Super Kings in the opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at Newlands today.
Tendulkar's 59 not out provided the foundation for Mumbai's 165-7. Former Australian opening batsman Matthew Hayden hit 44 and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni 36 for Chennai but the 2008 runners-up could only manage 146-7. Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga bowled superbly to take 3-15 in four overs for Mumbai.
Mumbai's innings was anchored by Tendulkar, who largely played conventional cricket, punctuated by lofted off-drives. Although he opened the batting he faced only 48 balls, hitting seven fours. Tendulkar and Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya (26) put on 39 for the first wicket. He then shared a second wicket stand of 43 with Shikhar Dhawan (22).
Mumbai were struggling at 102-4 in the 15th over before the left-handed Abhishek Nayar lashed 35 off 14 balls in a fifth wicket stand of 46 with Tendulkar. Nayar slammed three sixes in an over from Andrew Flintoff which cost 22 runs. Flintoff, who is on a $1.55 million a season contract, was the most expensive Chennai bowler, conceding 44 runs in four overs.
Flintoff made 24 in Chennai's reply as he helped Hayden put on 52 for the third wicket. He hit two fours and a six off 22 balls before he heaved a ball from Harbhajan Singh high in the air for the off-spinner to take a catch off his own bowling.
Hayden hit his 44 off 35 balls before Zaheer Khan took a stinging catch in the cover off a fierce drive against Jayasuriya's left-arm spin. Dhoni hit 36 off 26 balls before being bowled by Malinga in the final over.