Rohit Seals 5-wicket Win for Mumbai, after Bowlers Keep RCB to Sub-par 162

Match report

Mumbai Indians once again made heavy weather of chasing down what was a sub-par target of 163. Rohit Sharma played the most significant knock (56*), his best of this IPL season, and took his team to victory, after Nitish Rana (27) and Jos Buttler (33) failed to capitalise on the good starts they had made. Both these batsmen fell in the space of 12 balls, to Pawan Negi, and allowed Royal Challengers Bangalore back into the match.

Mumbai had gotten themselves into a tangle during the middle phase by losing crucial wickets and failing to keep the scoreboard ticking over as well. Rohit, who anchored the 163-run chase, had to be really circumspect at the start of his innings because he was losing his batting partners at regular intervals. And his decision to not play the big shots until very late on in the innings, kept pushing the required run rate beyond nine runs per over.

Krunal Pandya, who had suffered a hip injury while he was fielding, aborted his innings after facing just two balls because he was unable to run between the wickets. This handicapped Mumbai of a crucial component of their team. Karn Sharma, a left-hand batsman, replaced the senior Pandya but did not have the desired impact.

The Railways leg-spinner fell in the 17th over to make the 38th match of IPL 2017 really interesting from a neutral’s viewpoint. Mumbai had Hardik Pandya in the sheds and might have been relaxed about the match situation. But, with 33 more runs required off 21 balls, the hosts had to make a move and a new batsman coming in wasn’t ideal.

But the Rohit-Hardik duo started to find the boundary regularly after taking a few balls to get going and made the task easier for themselves ahead of the final over. Shane Watson, bowling the final over and defending six runs (Mumbai needed seven runs to win), made Rohit and Pandya work hard for their runs. But on the penultimate delivery of the match, with Mumbai needing two runs off two balls, Rohit struck a crisp off drive, beat the mid-off and cover fielders inside the circle and won the match for his team with a boundary.

The Mumbai Indians skipper was awarded the man-of-the-match for his match-winning knock of 56* [37 balls; 6×4 and 1×6]. With this five-wicket victory, Mumbai moved to the top of the IPL 2017 points table and currently hold a two-point lead over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Defending only an average score, only Negi and Watson offered control for RCB and Kohli with their disciplined bowling. Negi actually turned the match around for his team immediately after he was introduced into the attack, and Watson made himself tough to score off with his clever variations in pace.

A sixth-wicket partnership of 54 runs between Kedar Jadhav and Pawan Negi propelled Royal Challengers to 162/8 from 20 overs, after they had been reduced to 108/5 in the 14th over. Negi struck the ball well and scored 35 crucial runs batting at No. 7. Without his contribution, RCB might well have ended up with a lesser total. The Delhi all-rounder struck a couple of sixes off Lasith Malinga’s final over, the 18th of the innings, to help Bangalore get closer to and eventually go past 150. Jadhav was not at his best on this evening and he played merely a peripheral role as Negi’s partner, whilst making 28 off 22 balls.

Virat Kohli and co. failed to click with the bat once again, though they did not suffer the embarrassment of their last three matches. Mandeep Singh (17) and Kohli (20) himself got off to starts and one wondered if this could be the evening for some destructive batting from the Royal Challengers. However, this duo, along with AB de Villiers and Travis Head, were out to soft dismissals, making life easier for Mumbai Indians.

De Villiers was in his zone and timed the ball superbly throughout his 27-ball 43, an innings which included three fours and three sixes. But in trying to hit Krunal Pandya for a six on the leg side, just as he had a couple of balls before in the same over, the South African superstar top-edged a good length delivery and was caught by Jasprit Bumrah at short fine leg. Only de Villiers, of all the RCB batsmen, had an assuredness about him, and his being in the middle beyond the 13th over will have helped the visitors post a more formidable total.

In my opinion, Royal Challengers Bangalore had the right batting order for the kind of players they picked in their playing XI. Mandeep, who returned to the side, partnered Kohli at the top of the order, a position where he should always have been batting instead of in the lower middle order. And de Villiers moved down to No. 4 from No. 3, which was taken up by Travis Head. Jadhav and Watson were the No. 5 and No. 6 batsmen for Bangalore, who will certainly have hoped for better rewards for the wise decision they had made.

A Harbhajan Singh-less Mumbai bowling attack produced a reasonably good performance to keep Bangalore to an average total. Almost every one of the bowlers responded well to being brought into the attack by Rohit Sharma, and the key to Mumbai keeping Bangalore to a low score was picking wickets at regular intervals and striking in quick succession.




Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, 38th Match Scorecard

Playing XIs

Mumbai: 1. Rohit Sharma (c), 2. Parthiv Patel (wk), 3. Jos Buttler, 4. Nitish Rana, 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Krunal Pandya, 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Karn Sharma, 9. Mitchell McClenaghan, 10. Lasith Malinga, and 11. Jasprit Bumrah

Bangalore: 1. Virat Kohli (c), 2. Travis Head, 3. AB de Villiers, 4. Kedar Jadhav (wk), 5. Aniket Choudhary, 6. Mandeep Singh, 7. Pawan Negi, 8. Shane Watson, 9. Adam Milne, 10. Sreenath Aravind, and 11. Yuzvendra Chahal

Scores

Bangalore: 162/8 (de Villiers 43 and Negi 35; McClenaghan 3/34)
Mumbai: 165/5 (Rohit 56* and Buttler 33; Negi 2/17)

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Innings (toss: Bangalore, who chose to bat first)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Virat Kohli caught Rohit, bowled McClenaghan 20 (14) 0 2 142.85
Mandeep Singh caught Hardik, bowled Karn 17 (13) 3 0 130.76
Travis Head caught Hardik, bowled Krunal 12 (15) 1 0 80.00
AB de Villiers caught Bumrah, bowled Krunal 43 (27) 3 3 159.25
Kedar Jadhav caught Pollard, bowled McClenaghan 28 (22) 2 0 127.27
Shane Watson bowled Bumrah 3 (5) 0 0 60.00
Pawan Negi caught Pollard, bowled McClenaghan 35 (23) 1 3 152.17
Adam Milne not out 0 (1) 0 0 0.00
Sreenath Aravind run out Patel 0 (0) 0 0 0.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Yuzvendra Chahal and Aniket Choudhary
Extras: 4 (2 wides and 2 leg byes)
RCB’s total: 162/8 in 20 overs, at 8.10 runs per over
RCB’s fall of wickets: 31/1 (Mandeep, 3.4), 40/2 (Kohli, 5.1), 85/3 (Head, 10.3), 102/4 (de Villiers, 12.2), 108/5 (Watson, 13.4), 162/6 (Negi, 19.4), 162/7 (Jadhav, 19.5), and 162/8 (Aravind, 19.6)
Mumbai Indians (MI) bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Mitchell McClenaghan 4 9 34 3 8.50
Lasith Malinga 4 10 31 0 7.75
Hardik Pandya 1 2 5 0 5.00
Karn Sharma 3 5 23 1 7.66
Jasprit Bumrah 4 8 33 1 8.25
Krunal Pandya 4 7 34 2 8.50
Mumbai innings (target: 163 runs in 20 overs, at 8.15 runs per over)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Parthiv Patel caught Chahal, bowled Choudhary 0 (1) 0 0 0.00
Jos Buttler caught Head, bowled Negi 33 (21) 4 1 157.14
Nitish Rana caught Head, bowled Negi 27 (28) 4 0 96.42
Rohit Sharma not out 56 (37) 6 1 151.35
Kieron Pollard caught Head, bowled Chahal 17 (13) 2 0 130.76
Krunal Pandya retired hurt 2 (2) 0 0 100.00
Karn Sharma caught Milne, bowled Watson 9 (8) 1 0 112.50
Hardik Pandya not out 14 (9) 0 1 155.55
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell McClenaghan
Extras: 7 (5 wides and 2 leg byes)
MI’s total: 165/5 in 19.5 overs, at 8.31 runs per over
MI’s fall of wickets: 0/1 (Patel, 0.1), 61/2 (Buttler, 7.3), 70/3 (Rana, 9.2), 98/4 (Pollard, 12.6), and 130/5 (Karn, 16.3)
Bangalore bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Aniket Choudhary 4 9 32 1 8.00
Yuzvendra Chahal 4 8 36 1 9.00
Adam Milne 2 1 29 0 14.50
Sreenath Aravind 2 2 21 0 10.50
Shane Watson 3.5 6 28 1 7.30
Pawan Negi 4 10 17 2 4.25

2 comments

  1. Big Cheers for Mumbai Indians.. Lets not write off the teams they played against, though RCB and DDs are a taken the back seats in the tournament they are not the easy teams to win. For a matter of fact none of the teams are easy to win. Its MIs mere confidence to take up the right decisions at the right time and executing the plans very well. The players knows their roles and playing according to the situation of the matches have been their biggest strength. However the team has to address the wickets falling in the midway of the innings , on a given day things could back fire at them. Hope they keep a watch on that. It feels bad to see Kohli & Co. biting the dust more often then not. I am sure he will be back for India in the Champions Trophy with all guns blazing. Happy to be in the Play-offs but we know its only half job done. Lets keep the momentum going in our favor and play good cricket to win the tournament. Sachin!!!!!!!!!!!Sachin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. True, Charles, Mumbai Indians have shown a few chinks in their armour over the course of the last three matches, with the primary being, as you’ve said, losing wickets in clusters and that too during the middle phase of the innings. Nitish Rana’s performance level has dropped a touch and because he is a crucial component of the Mumbai batting line-up this season and also bats at the vital No. 3 position, his failures have had an adverse effect on the team.

      Having said so, in a long season, you are bound to encounter different challenges. So, from Mumbai’s perspective, they will be keen to get back to their best in time for the playoffs.

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