Tendulkar likely to miss IPL final

Sachin Tendulkar may be forced to miss the IPL final due to injury.

Sachin Tendulkar may be forced to miss the IPL final on April 25 after suffering a hand injury during Mumbai’s 35-run victory over Bangalore.

The Mumbai skipper needed five stitches in the split webbing of his right hand when he went for an edge off Rahul Dravid in the initial stages of Bangalore’s run-chase in the IPL semi-final at the DY Patil Stadium on Wednesday.

A final call on whether Tendulkar would be able to take part in the final would be taken in a couple of days’ time, said teammate Zaheer Khan after the match.

“I did not have a chance to talk to Sachin in the dressing room because everyone was  celebrating. (Coach) Robin (Singh) told me that the injury needed five stitches and a call will be taken on his playing in two days’ time. It’s a bit of a worry. All of us and all the Mumbai supporters are hoping he would play in the final,” Khan told reporters after the match.

Giving credit to young performers Ambati Rayudu and Saurabh Tiwary, Khan said the duo helped set up the victory for Mumbai.

“I thought both Rayudu and Tiwary batted very well. With out bowling attack we aimed to get 170 as the wicket was turning and it was difficult to play Kevin Pietersen and (Anil) Kumble. 180-plus was a very good total,” said Khan who captained the side when Tendulkar went off to attend to his injured hand.

Bangalore skipper Anil Kumble rued that his team gave away a flurry of runs towards the end of the Mumbai innings.

“We gave away too many runs in the last five overs. We bowled well in the beginning and thought we could restrict them to 165 or 170. But my over (17 runs in 17th over) perhaps gave them the momentum.

“And when chasing, we were good till the 9th over. 100 in 11 was par. But then we lost wickets and two wickets in two balls (those of Robin Uthappa and Rahul Dravid) did not help,” he said.

Mumbai scored 77 runs in the last five overs when Kieron Pollard blitzed his way to 33 not out in 13 balls with three sixes and a four. The team also gathered 43 runs in less than three overs with Pollard and Saurabh Tiwary (52 not out in 31 balls) taking the Bangalore bowling by the scruff.

Bangalore will now have to try and score a consolation victory to earn a berth in the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 on April 24 against the losers of Thursday’s second semi final between Chennai and holders Hyderabad.

“It would be only a consolation victory. The top prize is the IPL final,” Kumble regretted.

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