Yet another team wins chasing in this year’s IPL. 13 out of 14 matches this year have been won chasing. Probably this piece of statistic and the overall record at the Wankhede Stadium, prompted MI Skipper Rohit Sharma to put RCB in, after winning the toss.
This was an important game for both RCB and MI as they both have just a single win from 2 and 4 matches respectively.
It was flat wicket, and as usual the batting powerhouse RCB were expected to post another huge score today. Bangalore were playing without Chris Gayle today, as he is back home, to be there during the birth of his child. Gayle’s absence may deter any team but the current batting list of RCB is still enviable.
For RCB, Kohli opened with new man in today, KL Rahul. Rahul after a scratchy start, played a helpful cameo of 23 off just 14 balls to give the innings some momentum after a quiet start in the first couple of overs.
McClenaghan claimed the first wicket of the day. At No. 3, came in the explosive AB De Villiers and along with Virat, continued from where they left in their last match. They added 59 runs for the 2nd wicket in just over 6 overs. Just as Bangalore looked set to run away with another 200 plus score, Mumbai’s new sensation, Krunal Pandya struck, not once but twice in quick succession. Both wickets being the big fish; Kohli and Devilliers. These strikes turned the match on its head and another wicket of Watson in short time made even 150 a distant probability. But the ever so pumped up Sarfaraz Khan along with MI Debutante Travis Head provided the much needed impetus to the innings and pushed the score to a fighting 170 in 20 overs. Head top scored with a 24 ball 37 and Sarfaraz made 28 off just 18.
171 was the target for Mumbai. By Wankhede standards, not a big one at all.
For Mumbai, Rohit was back opening with Parthiv Patel. Patel didn’t last long though, walking back on the first ball of the second over from Bangalore. New man Ambati Rayudu was not in his usual form but stayed at the crease to support the super Sharma who was back at doing what he does best; smashing bowlers all over the park. Both added 76 runs for the 2nd wicket. But the introduction of the left arm spinner, Iqbal Abdulla raised some hopes for RCB as he sent back both the set batsmen with Mumbai still needing 62 runs from 7 overs. The foundation was laid and the batsmen at the crease, Jos Butler and Keiron Pollard collectively hit 5 sixes between them to finish the match in the 18th over.
Pollard scored an unbeaten 40 off just 19 balls. Rohit top scored for Mumbai with a 44 ball 62, and was the man of the match for his scintillating innings.
Mumbai would have breathed easy with this win taking them to 2 wins from 5 matches. While RCB need to raise their game and sort their bowling out as quickly as possible. The RCB bowlers are not defending any target for them and the batsmen might suffer from this excess pressure of scoring too much runs for their bowlers.