Finally, Mumbai Indians beat them by 19 runs in an extremely engaging battle at Wankhede Stadium, home to the opponent team. A tense atmosphere that was fuelled in the middle of the game made it a must-watch and then must-loose match for the visiting team.
Unable to restrict the Mumbai Indians, RCB faced the prospect of chasing a whopping 188 runs in 20 overs, a top order for Virat Kohli’s men. From the Mumbai Indians side, vital contributions from Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard restricted RCB to 168 for eight, with Jasprit Bumrah, Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga claiming two wickets each.
Earlier, RCB won the toss and chose to field first. Meanwhile, MI altered their top order; they sent CM Gautam to open along with Ben Dunk. And while the duo gave their team a promising start, Dunk (15) got out off the bowling of Harshal Patel. With the scorecard reading 25 for one, Ambati Rayudu walked in at No.3. And while he took some time to make an impact, Gautam took charge of proceedings. The second-wicket pair ended up adding 46 runs, until Ashok Dinda bowled Rayudu (9) out in the eighth over.
Then, Varun Aaron had Gautam (30) caught behind as the MI was 77 for three, the tide was turning in RCB’s favour, and Yuzvendra Chahal took advantage of it by dismissing Corey Anderson (6) seven runs later. Kieron Pollard then joined Rohit Sharma in the middle, and the pair took MI to the three-figure mark in the 13th over. Both batsmen got their eye in and took the attack to the RCB bowlers. In the latter overs Mitchell Starc and Pollard even clashed virtually.
With Rohit Sharma’s half-century, MI yielded 24 runs in the 19th over while in the final over, the Starc-Pollard rivalry resumed, but it was interrupted when the bowler ran his opponent out. Rohit Sharma, however, ended the innings with a stunning boundary as his team MI made 187 runs for five, setting a target of 188 for RCB.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore with Chris Gayle and Parthiv Patel initially came out all guns blazing and hit balls in all the directions of the park and made 28 runs off a Pawan Suyal over – the third of the innings. The duo soon made the RCB reach 50 but them Harbhajan Singh bowled Parthiv Patel (26) out. Still, with Gayle firing on all balls, the visitors made 64 runs during the powerplay and the RCB run-rate continued to hover around the 10-an-over mark, and MI went for desperation to get Gayle out for 38, coutesy Harbhajan Singh – the veteran spinner.
AB de Villiers joined Virat Kohli in the middle with the score running at 94 and the RCB crossed 100 in the 11th over. Jasprit Bumrah then struck in the 13th over when he bowled de Villiers (9) out before he could make a sizeable impact.
In quick succession, in the next over, Suyal struck a vital blow and took Kohli’s wicket at 35 and after a couple of tight overs later, the momentum was back in Mumbai’s favour. With Yuvraj Singh and Rilee Rossouw taking guard, RCB needed to score 12-an-over in the final five overs. Then, Pollard’s footwork took away Yuvraj Singh’s wicket (6) as the MI all-rounder accurately kicked the ball onto the stumps with his legs and danced in Sulu way to celebrate the wicket’s fall.
In the very next over, Laisth Malinga claimed Starc (5), who handed a simple catch to Pollard and RCB were reduced to 139 for six in 16.4 overs after that dismissal. Harshal Patel (0) was then bowled out by Bumrah, who bowled a great 18th over. With the run-chase equation reading 35 off 12 balls, Malinga came in to bowl. While Rossouw (24) greeted him with a six off the first ball, the slinger claimed his wicket off the next. Thereafter, MI restricted the visitors not to spring any more surprises but bow out with 19 runs short of the win on their home stadium.
Man of the Match: Rohit Sharma for his match-winning half-century.
Some Interesting Match Statistics:
10 – Number of consecutive matches won by Mumbai Indians at Wankhede – all eight last year and the two games so far this year.
25 – Extras conceded by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the match – most by any side in IPL 2014 and fifth most in all IPL matches.
28 – Runs conceded by Pawan Suyal in his second over – most expensive over of IPL 2014. There had been two 27-run overs.
32 – Number of innings taken by Virat Kohli to aggregate 1000 runs in IPL as captain. Only Sachin Tendulkar has reached this landmark faster; he took one innings less to get there.
92.30 – Mumbai Indians’ win percentage while defending a target of 180 or more in IPL – 12 wins out of 13 instances. The only loss came against Kochi Tuskers Kerala in 2011.
119 – Number of sixes hit by Rohit Sharma in the IPL – joint second-most (with Suresh Raina). Only Chris Gayle (187) has hit more.