Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya turned on their charm and made mockery of Twenty20 cricket being a young man’s game as both posted breezy half-centuries to guide Mumbai Indians to a 92-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League match on Monday.
The 36-year-old Tendulkar’s 45-ball 68 was laced with six boundaries and four sixes, including one that went over the park.
His opening partner, the 39-year-old Jayasuriya scored 52 off 32 balls with four sixes and two boundaries as the Mumbai Indians raced to 187 for six at St George’s Park.
Knight Riders opening pair of Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum needed to match the veteran duo but disappointed as the Shah Rukh Khan-owned side capitulated for 95.
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly and Australian Brad Hodge staged a brief fightback but once their 54-run partnership was brought to an end by Abhishek Nayar, it was one way traffic as Lasith Malinga ripped through the tail.
Ganguly topscored for the Knight Riders, with a 30-ball 34, hitting a six and three fours while Hodge scored 24 off 22 balls with the help of three boundaries.
Earlier, it was the right-left combination of Tendulkar and Jayasuriya that did all the damage.
Tendulkar first started it all with a flick off his pads to Ishant Sharma and then dispatched Ashok Dinda over third man for a six. While Tendulkar’s blade dazzled, Jayasuriya was content playing the waiting game.
The bowlers were guilty of spraying the ball on both sides of the wicket and skipper Brendon McCullum introduced Ganguly after the fifth over.
But the former India skipper wasn’t spared either and this time Jayasuriya joined in the party, hitting two huge sixes as the Mumbai Indians reached fifty inside six overs.
Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis was introduced in the very next over to stem the rot but was treated with equal disdain as Tendulkar reached his half-century with a six that landed out of the park.
At the half-way mark, Mumbai Indians raced to 111 without any loss. The Knight Riders were hamstrung by injury to pace bowler Anureet Singh, who hurt his ankle while stopping Tendulkar’s shot in the very first over.
McCullum tried as many as seven bowlers and it was not until Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Brad Hodge came into the picture that they tasted success.
First Shukla picked up Tendulkar’s wicket, the ball hitting him infront of the wicket and Russel Tiffin had no hesitation in ruling him out, breaking the opening partnership with the score reading 127.
Harbhajan Singh played a little cameo before he sent Brad Hodge straight down Mendis’ throat at deep mid on. The off-spinner hit two sixes and one four in his eight ball 18.
Shukla was the most effective of the Knight Riders’ bowlers, taking three wickets for 25 runs in his four overs while Ishant and Hodge chipped in with one wicket each.