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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

IPL 2019: Hardik’s blitz, Maliga magic helps Mumbai Indians take down Royal Challengers Bangalore

Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians beat Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore by five wickets in Mumbai.

cricket Updated: Apr 16, 2019 10:19 IST
Ankit Kumar Singh
Ankit Kumar Singh
Mumbai Indians cricketers celebrate after the dismissal of Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli (R) during the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore
Mumbai Indians cricketers celebrate after the dismissal of Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli (R) during the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore (AFP)

On most summer days, an Indian Premier League (IPL) match is the highlight of a cricket discussion. But with the BCCI announcing a 15-member India squad for the World Cup on Monday, the game between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ran the risk of becoming a footnote. ((Full Scorecard))

A vintage innings from AB de Villiers however lit up the evening as 35,000 spectators at the Wankhede Stadium were treated to a batting masterclass by modern cricket’s most enterprising 360-degree player who conjured a 51-ball 75 to take RCB to 171 for seven.

Mumbai’s batting unit then produced its own chase masterclass overhauling the target with five wickets and six balls to spare. Though none of the home batsmen reached fifty, there were handy contributions right from the start to trump the South African’s efforts.

Opener Rohit Sharma (28, 19 balls) and Quinton de Kock (40, 26 balls) gave the side a flying start adding 70 runs in first seven overs. Though they departed in quick succession, young Ishan Kishan (21, 9 balls) and Suryakumar Yadav (29, 23 balls) came up with sparkling cameos to keep the Mumbai-based franchise on track for a victory. Hardik Pandya then gave the finishing touch to the innings hitting a 16-ball 37 which included two sixes and two fours from the penultimate over bowled by Pawan Negi.

ALSO READ: MI vs RCB Highlights, IPL 2019, Match 31 in Mumbai: Mumbai Indians win by five wickets

Class of AB de Villiers

Earlier, de Villiers had come out to bat with RCB losing skipper Virat Kohli in the third over of the innings. He began by weathering an over of high class by Jasprit Bumrah who hit an unplayable length in his first over, making de Villiers look all at sea against the incoming deliveries.

He finally got going with the introduction of leg-spinner Rahul Chahar who he swept for a boundary. Though he hit a top-edged six off Hardik Pandya, de Villiers’ battles with Lasith Malinga and Bumrah — two of the best death bowlers — were the most entertaining.

Malinga, who returned to the side after missing a few games due to his commitments in Sri Lanka’s provincial domestic ODI tournament, returned with his best figures – 4/31 — this season. His three wickets in the last over of the innings were the reason Mumbai could restrict the visitors below 180. He was later adjudged man-of-the-match as well.

Before that though de Villiers had taken a liking to his bowling, clobbering a monstrous six off him over the square-leg fence in the 15th over. The shot that stood out though was the one where he went down on his knee and scooped Malinga over the long-leg fence.

The 35-year-old showed similar class against Bumrah as well when in the 19th over, he carved a yorker through covers. He got ample support from England’s Moeen Ali who too hit some lusty blows on his way to a 32-ball 50.

Mumbai Indians had won the toss and asked Mumbai Indians to bat. Jason Behrendorff, who was named in Australia’s 15-member World Cup squad early on Monday, celebrated it by accounting for the India skipper cheaply. The lanky pacer, who has a knack of taking wickets up front, got the ball to rise from a good length spot and find the inside edge of Kohli’s bat in his second over.

Parthiv Patel however took the Western Australia pacer to the cleaners in his next over, carting him for a four and a six through midwicket before finding two boundaries past third man. But Parthiv couldn’t capitalise on his good start as he chipped an easy catch to Suryakumar Yadav at backward point off Hardik to leave his team two down for 44. From there, de Villiers and Ali went on to add 107 runs for the third wicket. In the end, it didn’t prove enough.


First Published: Apr 16, 2019 00:27 IST

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