All round show clinches 9 wicket rout
The Royal Challengers Bangalore pulverized the Mumbai Indians for a staggering 9 wicket at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday night.
In a welcome and much awaited turn of events, the underperforming fast bowling unit of the team set up the win keeping MI down to 141/6 before the batsmen finished the job comfortably to take the team to 4th place on the points table.
Zaheer Khan (0/16) delivered a tight opening over at his Ranji home ground, enjoying the assistance of the pitch before Vinay Kumar (2/34) stepped in to remove James Franklin (1) and Rohit Sharma (0) to reduce Mumbai to 2/2 after 2 overs.
They were supported superbly in the field as every player put in a supreme effort, conceding very few boundaries and attacking even singles to keep the MI batsmen under constant pressure.
Sachin Tendulkar (24) targeted Harshal Patel to release the pressure but the youngster’s reply saw him top edge a pull which Harshal caught as Mumbai slid further to 41/3 in the 9th over. Dinesh Karthik (44) and Ambati Rayudu (22) consolidated with a 44 run partnership but Patel (2/24) struck again just when they were beginning to accelerate, claiming Rayudu in the 14th over.
Kohli held Muralitharan (2/24) back for Pollard but when he was brought into the attack, the offspinner struck twice in successive deliveries to dismiss Karthik and the dangerous Dwayne Smith (2) in the 16th over. Harbhajan Singh (20*, 12b) and Kieron Pollard (21*, 13b) swung and connected with a few and thanks largely to an errant last over from Vinay, raised the MI score to 141/6 in their 20 overs.
Chris Gayle was his watchful self once again in RCB’s chase while Tillakaratne Dilshan went for the runs. They carefully played out the threat from Lasith Malinga and cashed in against RP Singh. They ran tight singles when they could to ensure the powerplay overs weren’t wasted, one such run nearly costing Gayle’s wicket in the second over.
Gayle survived one more chance in the sixth over when on 21*, he mishit one high only for Smith to drop it at mid off.
Dilshan on the other hand had made 19 off 25 when he was dismissed on a marginal LBW call off Pragyan Ojha. He felt he had been given caught behind originally and clearly wasn’t pleased with the decision as he walked off with RCB on 48/1 in the 9th over but matters cleared up later when the umpire clarified that the ruling was made for a LBW.
Any notions of respite MI had were quickly put to rest soon as Gayle unleashed his fury on Ojha. He gleefully smashed two full tosses, the second a no ball and a third length ball outside off into the stands as the 11th over went for 22 runs, reaching his 50 off 36 deliveries and also claiming the Orange Cap off Virender Sehwag with the third six.
Harbhajan (0/18) too was played out watchfully just as Malinga was in his extended opening spell as Virat Kohli grew in confidence. Pollard’s bowling was relished and by the time Malinga came back for one last charge, it was too late. 16 were required from 18 when Rohit Sharma was given the ball. Kohli (36*, 25b) sent one into the second tier over the sight screen off the last ball of the over to take RCB to 142/1 and seal a dominant 9 wicket win.
Vinay’s 18 run last over probably spoilt his chances and at the end of the night the hulking Jamaican Gayle (82*, 59b) walked away with the Man of the Match award for guiding his team in a crunch game and the Orange Cap for taking his tournament tally to 515 runs, 47 ahead of the next man in the table, Virender Sehwag at 468.