Mumbai lift off as sparks fly in IPL clash with Bangalore
Mumbai 187-5 (20 ov)
Bangalore 168-8 (20 ov)
Toss: Bangalore, chose to field
Mumbai: Rohit 59 not out, Pollard 43; Harshal 1-28, Chahal 1-30
Bangalore: Gayle 38, Kohli 35; Harbhajan 2-23, Malinga 2-28
Man of the match: Rohit Sharma (Mumbai)
Mumbai Indians’s batting has not been in the best health through the IPL this season, but for the second time in as many matches, their batsmen did more than the opposition – this time Royal Challengers Bangalore – to secure a 19-run victory, with some help from the bowlers.
In a contest that was spiced with verbal, and almost physical, duels for the most part, Mumbai rode on home comfort to pile up 187 for five at the Wankhede Stadium last night.
Despite a strong start, Bangalore’s batting inconsistencies came to haunt them as a mini implosion ended their chase on 168 for eight.
In pursuit of the big total, Bangalore needed a Chris Gayle special and the Jamaican giant did not disappoint during his brief stay.
Gayle took four balls to explode as Pawan Suyal, replacing the injured Zaheer Khan, conceded 28 runs in his second over. Gayle had moved to 21 off just seven balls by virtue of two towering sixes and three boundaries.
The early introduction of spin stemmed the run flow and Harbhajan Singh brought Parthiv Patel’s cameo to an end in the sixth over.
After that, two quiet overs passed, and both Virat Kohli and Gayle seemed set to take Bangalore past the stiff target in conditions that were making it difficult for the bowlers to grip the ball.
Kohli went after Kieron Pollard, lofting him over long-off as soon as he was brought into the attack. Another straight hit to the sight-screen followed in the next over, but Harbhajan soon accounted for the well-set Gayle after a 24-ball 42.
AB de Villiers, promoted up the order to curb the mounting asking rate, fell to Jasprit Bumrah while attempting to slog a third time in a seven-ball stay.
Kohli, who was let off by Bumrah in the 12th over, followed de Villiers to the dugout while attempting a hoick only to be caught by Corey Anderson off Suyal at long-off.
While Yuvraj Singh’s travails with the bat continued, Rilee Rossouw entertained briefly with an unbeaten 14-ball 24, but succumbed to the asking rate that had shot up past 17.
The inability of the lower order to play the big shots meant the match meandered to a close with Bangalore at the wrong end.
Earlier, Mumbai’s Ben Dunk and Chidambharam Gautam got off to a brisk start adding 25 runs within three overs after the home side were put in to bat. Kohli then brought Harshal Patel into the attack and the right-arm pacer struck with his first delivery as Dunk chipped straight to Yuvraj at mid-off.
Gautam and Ambati Rayudu consolidated with a 46-run second-wicket stand that was a mix of pure timing and fierce hitting.
Driving on the up off the back foot with impressive balance and picking the short balls early enough to drive them over the onside, Gautam gave Mumbai the early surge at the top of the order.
Ashok Dinda was taken to the cleaners early on, but he later came up with a peach of a delivery to flatten Rayudu’s middle stump.
Gautam fell to Varun Aaron in the next over edging to Parthiv after a 28-ball 30, but Corey Anderson, the new man in, got off the mark with a straight six off Yuzvendra Chahal.
Two balls later, Anderson fell attempting a repeat, sparking a wild send-off from the usually taciturn leg-spinner.
Mumbai were 84 for four then, but both stroke makers, Pollard and Rohit Sharma held back, adapting to the need of the hour and added 91 runs in just 60 balls.
Bangalore’s fielding was ragged and their catching shoddy, with Pollard dropped at point by Yuvraj when on 26.
Mumbai’s innings gained pace in the last four overs, sparked by a mini duel between Pollard and Mitchell Starc.
In the fourth ball of the 17th over, Pollard pulled away when Starc had reached his delivery stride. As Starc finished his delivery, an incensed Pollard flung his bat down the pitch at Starc.
Pollard then cut loose, clobbering Aaron and Dinda in the death overs much to the delight of the capacity crowd.
Mumbai went on to register their highest total in the tournament and extended their unbeaten streak at home to 10 wins over two seasons.
Disha Shetty is a sub editor at Wisden India. For more stories visit wisdenindia.com or their Twitter at @WisdenIndia.
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Published: May 6, 2014 04:00 AM