Mumbai Indians (MI) inflicted yet another defeat on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League. This is RCB’s seventh defeat in eight games of the season. With only six matches remaining for them in the league phase, RCB’s chances of qualification to play-offs hang on a theoretical thread.
Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, jumped to the third position after the win. They are level on points with Delhi Capitals and only behind league leaders Chennai Super Kings.
MI’s Pace Bowlers Stifle RCB
Mumbai won the toss and put the Bangalore tea in to bat. In the first ball of the third over, bowled by Jason Behrendorff, Virat Kohli was caught behind. RCB lost their momentum then and there. To their credit, Mumbai’s bowlers maintained a tight line and length and generally bowled to their field.
AB de Villiers and Moin Ali were the only batsmen who looked comfortable at the middle. Even de Villiers was never allowed to run away with hitting sixes and fours. He finished with 75 in 51 balls, while Ali scored 50 off 32 balls.
Their dismissals towards the end of the innings stifled RCB’s scoring further. RCB eventually reached 171 for seven.
Lasith Malinga was the pick of the bowlers. He finished with four for 31, including two wickets in the final over of the match.
Mumbai Indians Race to Target
MI’s openers Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock produced a blistering start studded with sixes. Sharma and de Kock hit two sixes apiece, as Mumbai raced to 70 in just seven overs. They lost the openers in quick succession. But the remaining batsmen, except for Krunal Pandya, continued the merry hitting.
Krunal’s struggle and eventual dismissal in the 18th over put Mumbai in a spot of bother. They needed 24 runs in two overs. Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard were at the crease. Pandya faced the entire 19th over and smashed 24 runs to seal the contest.
Mumbai’s skipper Rohit Sharma was all praise of Hardik Pandya:
“He [Hardik Pandya] wanted to contribute with bat and ball in this particular season. He didn’t have much cricket before IPL so he wanted to prove a point, to himself more than anyone else. The way he’s hitting holds us in a better position. It will help us win those crucial games.”
Malinga was chosen as the man of the match.