The Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore faced off in an important encounter today. Both sides have only won two of their first seven matches in IPL 2018 so it was crunch time. RCB opener Manan Vohra slammed 45 runs for the hosts as they set a target of 168.
Mumbai, for their part, fought valiantly with Hardik Pandya scoring his first half-century of the tournament. Unfortunately, the defending champions could not stop the wickets from falling. In the end, they fell short of their target, much to the home crowd’s delight.
As a result of the triumph, RCB have moved to fifth in the IPL 2018 table. They are level with the Kolkata Knight Riders, the latter occupies the final play-off spot. Meanwhile, the Indians are languishing second to bottom of the table.
RCB were put into bat first and Manan Vohra was promoted up the order. He looked threatening on the spin-friendly pitch, but partner Quinton de Kock got muzzled quickly.
The South African wicketkeeper went down with just seven runs off 13 balls. His shot found its way to Rohit Sharma at midwicket. De Kock was replaced by Brendon McCullum at the crease ahead of captain Virat Kohli. Vohra was playing well until a Mayank Markande delivery trapped him for 45.
With Kohli at the crease, he and McCullum rebuilt the RCB foundation. The two shared a 60-run third-wicket partnership until the Kiwi was run out by Hardik. That signalled the RCB batting collapse.
Hardik then went on to bag three wickets in an over. His victims were Mandeep Singh, Kohli and Washington Sundar. RCB were soon tottering at 141-6 with two overs remaining.
But then came their saviour, Colin de Grandhomme stepped in and smashed three sixes in the final over. As a result, the hosts posted a decent total of 167-7.
Then came the Mumbai innings, on paper, the score looked pursuable. Bangalore had other ideas as Tim Southee bowled Ishan Kishan for a first ball-duck.
The newly introduced Decision Review System (DRS) saved RCB’s hides when Umesh Yadav claimed two wickets in two balls. The first victim was Suryakumar Yadav who was lbw, later confirmed on review.
The second one was Rohit Sharma who was caught out by De Kock. Sharma went out for a golden duck. There was an element of doubt and the DRS once again came to RCB’s aide.
Mumbai’s struggles continued as Kieron Pollard was caught behind on 13 runs. JP Duminy was run out on 23 and Mumbai was floundering at 84-5.
The Pandya brothers then came to the rescue with a 56-run partnership as Mumbai fought back. But it didn’t last as Krunal attempted a scoop and was caught on the ring off Mohammed Siraj for 23.
Hardik reached his half-century but was later caught by Kohli. The hosts went on to win by 14 runs.