“Cricket is not played according to a particular script,” Royal Challengers’ skipper Anil Kumble said two days ago. On Sunday though Ajinkya Rahane, JP Duminy and Harbhajan Singh played to a plan and helped the Mumbai Indians to a 16-run win.
While Rahane and Duminy struck unbeaten half-centuries, Harbhajan Singh scalped two for 15 runs.
Following three losses on the trot, it was clear that Mumbai were playing to a plan. After putting on 157, they left no stone unturned in dismissing the opposition cheaply. Their efforts bore fruit as the Royal Challengers lost Jacques Kallis, Virat Kohli, Robin Uthappa and Rahul Dravid cheaply with only 58 on the board after 10 overs.
Kohli, who made 20, seemed to settle down but was dismissed by leg-spinner Chetanya Nanda. With the top-order back in the dugout, the Challengers managed 141 in 20 overs.
Mark Boucher, who scored an unbeaten 48, did try to bail out the team but his efforts fell short in the absence of support from the other end.
Incidentally, it was here at the St George’s Park that Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya had put together 127 for the opening stand against the Kolkata Knight Riders. There was no repeat performance as the skipper was dismissed even before he could open his account and the Sri Lankan managed only 29.
Rahane and Duminy then put on a fine 104-run stand after Mumbai had lost two wickets for 53 runs.First, Rahane had a cautious 48-run second-wicket partnership with Jayasuriya and later, batting with Duminy, let loose an array of strokes. He got 62 off 49 balls, decorated with four fours and a six, and Duminy scored 59 off 41 balls, studded with two fours and three sixes.
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S Jayasuriya lbw b van der Merwe 29 (27b, 4x4), S Tendulkar c Boucher b Vinay Kumar 0 (3b), A Rahane not out 62 (49b, 4x4, 1x6), J Duminy not out 59 (41b, 2x4, 3x6)
Extras (w-7) 7
Total (for 2 wkts) 157
Fall of wkts: 1-5, 2-53
Bowling: J Kallis 3-0-23-0 (3w), R Vinay Kumar 4-0-30-1 (1w), A Mithun 4-0-42-0 (3w), A Kumble 4-0-32-0, RE van der Merwe 3-0-17-1, K Appanna 2-0-13-0.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
J Kallis c Kulkarni b Bravo 12 (10b, 2x4), V Kohli c Duminy b Nanda 20 (22b, 4x4), R Uthappa c Tendulkar b Kulkarni 4 (5b, 1x4), R Taylor b Malinga 16 (16b, 1x6), R Dravid run out 10 (12b), M Boucher not out 48 (33b, 1x4, 2x6), RE van der Merwe st Takawale b Harbhajan Singh 3 (4b), R Vinay Kumar st Takawale b Harbhajan Singh 7 (12b), A Kumble not out 7 (6b, 1x4),
Extras (lb 6, w 8) 14
Total (for 7 wkts) 141
Fall of wkts: 1-23, 2-31, 3-40, 4-58, 5-73, 6-90, 7-114
Bowling: D Kulkarni 4-0-24-1, L Malinga 4-0-37-1 (5w), D Bravo 4-0-27-1 (1w), C Nanda 4-0-32-1, Harbhajan 4-0-15-2 (2w)