Bangalore needed all the encouragement and support to come out of their vicious cycle of defeat. But what they heard ahead of the match was almost a vote of no confidence by none other than Vijay Mallya - the team owner.
That's certainly the last thing any team in the position Bangalore are in would have wanted. It would have certainly pushed this already stressed set further into dejection and despair. And it showed quite clearly as they hurtled to a massive nine-wicket defeat—their biggest in the League — against Mohali here on Monday.
Now Bangalore in any case have been losing matches, but they never lost a game without putting up even a semblance of fight like on Monday. They have been unlucky to lose some close matches, as Dravid pointed out on the eve of this game, but this evening was a complete no-contest.
Desperate to salvage some pride, Bangalore tried out yet another opening combination in Virat Kohli and J. Arun Kumar, but again with little success. The Mohali bowlers were right on the spot from the outset, giving the visitors little chance.
And once Sreesanth induced an edge off Arun Kumar in his second over, it opened floodgates of sorts as Bangalore just kept losing wickets quite frequently.
Misbah-ul-Haq, who came first down, though showed some positive intent and aggression, knocking of 21 runs in just eight balls. Unfortunately, his stay was cut short by a stroke of bad luck as he treaded on to his stumps to be hit-wicket.
Thereafter, the Mohali bowlers tightened screws further, and never allowed them to get off the hook. Dravid tried to hold his ground for a while with a sedate 29 off 26 balls, but fell just when it was time to launch the final assault.
Boucher, as usual, tried his hardest to give some impetus to the innings, but the Mohali bowlers were simply at their best. They simply refused to relent and kept picking wickets, restricting Bangalore to a modest total of 143 on what later looked a wicket full of runs.
After the batsmen, the bowlers continued with the listless show as Mohali raced to the target in 16th. And in what has apparently become a norm now, the chase was spearheaded by left-handed opener Shaun Marsh, who smashed sizzling unbeaten 74 off just 51 balls to ensure a thumping win for the side.
Marsh, as usual, took his time to get off the blocks, even as James Hopes smashed a quickfire 27 at the other end with three sixes, but changed gears at the right time to make a mockery of the Bangalore attack.
Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia, the owners of the Mohali team, were as usual out in a flash to greet their team after the stupendous victory.
Mohali- Shaun Marsh, James Hopes, Yuvraj Singh(c), Mahela Jayawardene, Luke Pomersbach, Irfan Pathan, Tanmay Srivastava, Piyush Chawla, Uday Kaul(wk), S Sreesanth, VRV Singh
Bangalore- J Arunkumar, R Vinay Kumar, Rahul Dravid(c), Misbah-ul-Haq, Mark Boucher(wk), Cameron White, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble, Dale Steyn