But a little while later, the game changed as RCB slumped on a slow MA Chidambaram Stadium pitch on Sunday.
Kohli holed out to Aiden Blizzard at deep midwicket off Harbhajan Singh. Suddenly, the RCB batting started to look shaky with not much experience and form in the middle. Arun Karthik, who'd hit a last ball six to see RCB through to the semifinals, tried a heroic hoick to clear the pressure but was caught at long-off. Mohammed Kaif too fell in similar vein and it was as good as over soon.
Earlier, MI flattered to deceive. The run outs of James Franklin and Surya Kumar Yadav undid the good work done by the them alongwith Ambati Rayudu. And when Kieron Pollard and Harbhajan Singh returned, the former due to impatience and the latter due to lack of judgment of the length.
Malinga rocksLasith Malinga provided the late boost and walloped a couple of sixes to give his bowlers a total to bowl at.
The Lankan is pretty matter of fact. Last night, when asked about preparation, he said: "I have no plans. I just want to take wickets." Thankfully he did in his third by getting rid of compatriot Tillakaratne Dilshan. And when Bhajji, through another act of inspiring captaincy, brought himself on and foxed Gayle, MI knew they had a chance.
That RCB bats just kept handing over the game from thereon through some injudicious strokes.