Mumbai: The Mumbai Indians made it 2-0 against Royal Challengers Bangalore after they followed up their win in Match 7 in Bengaluru with a 5-wicket win at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday night. After winning the toss and opting to bowl, MI restricted the visitors to 171-7 and then chased down the runs in 19 overs. The win was MI’s fifth in eight matches in VIVO IPL 2019. RCB have seven losses in eight matches this season and now face the demanding equation of having to win their remaining six matches to give themselves a chance of making the playoffs.
The Mumbai Indians openers laid the foundation for the chase with a brisk 70-run partnership. After Rohit Sharma (28) and Quinton de Kock (40 of 26 balls, 5 fours & 2 sixes) were dismissed in the same over, Ishan Kishan’s cameo of 21 from 9 balls ensured the momentum stayed with his team. After Ishan was dismissed, MI were tied down for a little while with the introduction of Moeen Ali; the climbing required run rate resulted in the dismissals of Suryakumar Yadav (29) and Krunal Pandya (11 from 21 balls).
MI needed 22 runs from the last two overs, when the RCB captain — influenced by instructions from bowling coach Ashish Nehra — handed the ball to Pawan Negi; Hardik Pandya was beaten first ball, but he then collected two sixes and two fours off the next four balls to settle the matter. Hardik finished unbeaten on 37 from 16 balls. The Mumbai Indians, despite not having one batsman make a score greater than 40, had polished off the chase of 172 with one full over to spare.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore innings in the evening was of three parts. Put into bat, they lost their captain Virat Kohli cheaply.
At the other end, Parthiv Patel (28) batted aggressively ensuring the Mumbai Indians bowlers did not tie down both ends; the left-hander struck four boundaries and a six, and dominated a 37-run stand with AB de Villiers.
Then de Villiers and Moeen Ali added 95 runs for the third wicket taking RCB to 144 in 17 overs. After Moeen was dismissed, de Villiers stepped on the accelerator to provide RCB the end overs flourish. But poor match awareness and poor execution of skills saw the visitors lose three wickets and lose grip over proceedings in the last over.
RCB were 45-1 at the end of the powerplay, scored 41 in the next six and added 85 in the final eight overs to finish at 171-7 – at least ten runs short of what they could have finished at had de Villiers not been run out at the start of the last over. For Mumbai Indians, Lasith Malinga — recalled into the side at the expense of the injured Alzarri Joseph – picked up four wickets to be the most successful bowler in the match. Jason Behrendorff and Hardik picked up a wicket each.
Standout batting performance
The conditions were demanding early on, and AB de Villiers played well within himself, giving himself the time to size up the pace of the surface. Just after the ten over mark, he was 20 from 22 balls, at which point he showed his first intentions of cutting loose; he attempted to pull Hardik Pandya, but the ball took the top edge and flew into the sightscreens behind the wicket-keeper. He was the only batsman who could dominate Malinga; he shuffled around the crease — using both its depth and width — and disturbed the pacer’s length. He deposited the Sri Lankan pacer into the stands at midwicket, and then collected two sixes backward of square.
De Villiers brought up his half-century off 41 balls, and carried on to make 75.