• IND vs ENG 4th Test 8th December 2016 Mumbai
  • AUS vs NZ 1st ODI 4th December 2016 Sidney
  • AUS vs NZ 2nd ODI 6th December 2016 Canberra

IPL 2016 – MI vs RCB: Fired-up Mumbai Bowlers Topple RCB

By on May 12, 2016

Mumbai Indians 153 for 4 (Rayudu 44, Pollard 35*) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 151 for 4 (Rahul 68*) by six wickets…

There was a lot of work to do for Mumbai Indians, and the sanest way to go about it at the M Chinnaswamy stadium was to chase. ‘Forget about the Sunrisers game’ was the message from their camp but that’s easier said than done after you have been knocked out for 92 and lost by 85 runs.

So Rohit Sharma and his bowlers did the next best thing – they drew a rage from it, the rage to win and show they were better. Mumbai allowed Royal Challengers Bangalore to score only 151 and chased it with six wickets to spare.

The pitch on Wednesday was the one that had been used in Bangalore’s first IPL game this season, when the hosts had amassed 227 for 4. But it behaved rather unnaturally. It was dry and offered grip even to a brand-new ball, which contributed to Kohli’s first single-digit score in this IPL.

IPL 2016 - MI vs RCB: Ambati Rayudu

Credits: ESPN CricInfo

Then Chris Gayle, who had been dropped against Rising Pune Supergiants on Saturday and didn’t play against Kings XI Punjab on Monday either, was dismissed for his fourth single-digit score in four innings.

Mitchell McClenaghan and Tim Southee were responsible for those blows. Their back-of-a-length barrage, with emphasis on not giving room or leverage, followed by Krunal Pandya’s stingy left-arm spin had Royal Challengers at 25 for 2, their third lowest Powerplay score in Bangalore in all IPLs. It was an effort worthy of the reward – all three put their feet up for the entire second innings.

That didn’t mean Mumbai’s chase was clinical. They needed 73 off the final seven overs when Kieron Pollard came to the crease at No. 5. He may not have imagined the finisher’s job to be tough considering the asking rate at the start had been a modest 7.6.

But the legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who took 1 for 16 in four overs, and the left-arm seamer S Aravind, who was brought in for Iqbal Abdulla and took a wicket off his first ball, created complications in the first 10 overs.

But the back-end bowling specialists for the home team were not quite as good as the back-end batting specialists for Mumbai as Pollard, with 35 off 19, and Jos Buttler, with 29 off 11, hauled them over the line. Shane Watson’s wide yorkers missed their mark by a few inches and he was punished.

Pollard struck him for his 400th six in the 17th over and followed it with back-to-back fours to pull the equation down to 26 off 18. Chris Jordan was worse, serving up full tosses and half-volleys, and his England team-mate Buttler cracked him for consecutive sixes in the 18th over to leave Mumbai needing 10 off 12.

It isn’t often that the home team is in unfamiliar territory. Before Wednesday’s match, Royal Challengers had posted a total below 155 only six times in their nine years at the Chinnaswamy stadium, and had won on only one of those six occasions.

Kohli believed they were 20 runs short, and hadn’t been in the game for the first 15 overs of the match. That is because he was caught at fly slip for 7, Gayle was caught at mid-off for 5, AB de Villiers top-edged Pandya to deep midwicket – the bowler sprinted to the fielder, Ambati Rayudu, with an expression of pure glee on his face and an hour later was holding his first Man-of-the-Match award in T20 cricket for a spell of 4-0-15-1.

Watson biffed a six and a four but was run out for 15 by a direct hit from Rohit, who roared in triumph, leapt up, and pumped his fists. It was clear Mumbai wanted to erase the dismal memories of their last match with better ones from this match.

The only one who stood in their way was KL Rahul, who constructed his fourth fifty this season. He twisted his left ankle on 23, was struck on the glove by a McClenaghan bouncer on 34, but did not let either incident mar his approach. The pick-up shots flew off his bat. His pulls were authoritative.

He hooks on instinct, and that shot needs a bit of sharpening. Nonetheless, 34 of his 68 unbeaten runs came in the Vs between fine leg and square leg and square leg and midwicket. Without his 53-run stand in 27 balls with Sachin Baby, Royal Challengers wouldn’t have crossed 150.

Parthiv Patel was caught at slip off Aravind in the second over, but Rohit and Rayudu were fairly solid, even if they couldn’t shut the opposition out. Pollard and Buttler could, and Mumbai sealed their sixth win of the season and broke into the top four again.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

You must be logged in to post a comment Login