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‘Dinesh, Rohit fantastic’

Calcutta: Mumbai Indians’ Dinesh Karthik is in superb form. After playing a sizzling 37 against Chennai Super Kings in their last match, he played a match-winning 86 against Delhi DareDevils on Tuesday.

Karthik and Rohit Sharma (74 not out) powered Mumbai Indians to an imposing 209 for five before the hosts produced a disciplined bowling effort to restrict Delhi DareDevils to 165 for nine.

Mumbai Indians captain Ricky Ponting heaped praise on the wicketkeeper-batsman.

The following are excerpts

Ricky Ponting: I actually lost my footing before taking the catch… I slipped at the start and thought I would miss it. In the end, I was lucky to take that catch off Unmukt Chand…

Overall, it was an amazing game of cricket. To make that kind of score (209) was awesome.

Before the tournament started, we’ve spoken about playing with freedom… Well, both Rohit and Dinesh did that today. They were fantastic… They took the attack to the opposition and gave us the momentum.

We always concentrate on our game… We knew that if we can set up a good score, we can easily defend it. We knew if we got the wicket of Warner, we could win the game. The bowlers delivered today. They bowled in the right areas and got the wickets at a crucial time.

As a captain, I am really happy with the performance of the team. With the new ball, we were really good. It’s great to notch up a second win on the trot. Things have started coming together quite nicely.

Mahela Jayawardene: We needed a good start while chasing the total. David Warner and Manprit Juneja batted well, but I think it was around 20-30 runs too much in the end.

It was a good wicket… 180 could have been a par score on this wicket. We went there with a positive mindset, trying to take their wickets… But I think we didn’t keep to our disciplines, we were a bit wayward today.

Dinesh and Rohit put us under pressure after 6-7 overs. They had a very good partnership and took the game away from us.

Under the circumstances, we needed to bowl in the right areas and get a breakthrough. But we failed to do so.

We have played some good cricket. But we were a bit unlucky. We just need to trust our ability and fight for everything. We need to learn from our mistakes. It’s just a matter of one win and hopefully we can turn it around.

Dinesh Karthik: It was a good wicket to bat on… A batsman cannot ask for a better wicket… I thought I’d play a few shots and it all came off nicely. I was trying to play cricketing shots…

I wasn’t playing anything out of the book. Rohit batted wonderfully… It was important that he batted till the end after I got out and he did that well. I really enjoyed batting with him. It’s important to be consistent and help my team win more games.