It was the battle of the bottom half of the table as Royal Challengers Bangalore hosted Mumbai Indians at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore in the 31st match of IPL 2018. Both teams needed a win desperately to keep their hopes alive and as it turned out, RCB crossed the winning line just in the nick of time to keep MI at bay.
A see-saw innings for RCB
Rohit Sharma won the toss and asked the opposition to have a bat. The visitors began well by conceding just 11 runs from the first 3 overs. But the decision to give JP Duminy another over proved to be the booster for RCB as Manan Vohra gathered 22 runs from the 4th over. But MI struck back when Mitchell McClenaghan dismissed Quinton de Kock for 7. The game hung in balance after the powerplay when the score read 43/1.
Vohra, who was striking the ball well, had to depart in the 9th over when Mayank Markande trapped him in front for 45. Brendon McCullum then came to the fore by smashing 20 runs from the 10th over bowled by Hardik Pandya. Virat Kohli quickly got into his grooves and the score moved to 119/2 after 14 overs.
The dangerous-looking McCullum’s innings was cut short courtesy a direct hit from Hardik from mid-off when the batsman misjudged a quick single. He was dismissed for 37 and MI pulled back things a little at that stage. Virat Kohli was still at the crease and the hopes for RCB was alive to finish on a strong note.
Hardik, who had conceded plenty thus far, then bowled a miraculous 18th over. He sent back Mandeep Singh, Kohli and Washington Sundar and pegged the opposition back. Bumrah conceded just 2 runs in the penultimate over and accounted for the wicket of Tim Southee.
When RCB seemed like falling short of a competitive total, the pendulum swung again and McClenaghan conceded 24 runs in the last over as Colin de Grandhomme hammered 3 sixes. RCB had the momentum as they finished with 167/7 after 20 overs. It was not an easy pitch to bat on and these extra runs at the end were like gold dust for the hosts.
MI batsmen failed again
In reply, MI were struck with a terrible blow when Ishan Kishan’s woodwork was disturbed by Tim Southee in the very first over as the left-hander got out without scoring. The other opener Suryakumar Yadav too didn’t last long and was sent back by Umesh Yadav in the 3rd over for 9.
The visitors were dealt a body blow when Rohit Sharma nicked his first ball to the keeper off Umesh and they were reeling at that stage. The struggle for MI continued as they dragged themselves to 40/3 at the end of the powerplay. Kieron Pollard’s miserable IPL continued as he got out for just 13 in the 8th over to Mohammed Siraj.
Hardik walked in at number 6 and along with JP Duminy, brought some solidity to the chase. The duo added 37 runs for the 5th wicket until the South African was found short of his crease when Umesh Yadav fired in an accurate throw from the boundary. After 14 overs, RCB restricted MI to 106/5 but the visitors were still in contention until the Pandya brothers were in the middle.
The batsmen went after de Grandhomme in the 16th over and gathered 17 runs to swing the game in their favor. They collected 10 more runs from the next over of Siraj and brought the equation down to 35 from 3 overs. Southee then bowled a terrific 18th and gave away just 5 runs as once again, the hosts were the favorites.
Siraj then backed up the good work and sent Krunal on his way for 23 in the penultimate over that resulted in just 5 runs. 25 runs were required from the last over and to make the matters worse for MI, Hardik got out off the first ball after making 50. Ben Cutting found the ropes a couple of times but those proved to be too little too late as RCB clinched game by 14 runs.
Mumbai Indians won the toss and opted to bowl first
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 167/7 in 20 overs
Manan Vohra 45 (31), Brendon McCullum 37 (25)
Hardik Pandya 28/3 (3), Jasprit Bumrah 22/1 (4)
Mumbai Indians: 153/7 in 20 overs
Hardik Pandya 50 (42), Krunal Pandya 23 (19)
Tim Southee 25/2 (4), Mohammed Siraj 28/2 (4)
Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 14 runs
Player of the Match: Tim Southee