Rayudu, Pollard make it possible for Mumbai
Both teams were hit by last-over jitters, but the Mumbai Indians held firm to not only win the match but also jump to the second spot on the points table. With a place in the playoffs at stake, nobody gave Mumbai a chance with just eight overs to go.india Updated: May 15, 2012 01:37 IST
Both teams were hit by last-over jitters, but the Mumbai Indians held firm to not only win the match but also jump to the second spot on the points table. With a place in the playoffs at stake, nobody gave Mumbai a chance with just eight overs to go. Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard had a mountain to climb but it was the bowling woes of the Royal Challengers Bangalore which made the difference in the end.
The duo shared a sixth-wicket unbeaten partnership of 122 to put it across Bangalore, for whom the road to the playoffs got harder.
Throughout IPL V, RCB have suffered with their bowlers failing to put pressure on the opposing teams. Nevertheless, they had a bright start in their defence of 171. It looked like curtains for Mumbai when Virat Kohli caught Sachin Tendulkar for a first ball duck off the fifth ball of Zaheer Khan's first over.
Three balls later, Hershelle Gibbs was run out while attempting a suicidal third run and RCB were on top. Vinay Kumar was again in the mix of things as he accounted for the in-form Rohit Sharma.
Rayudu comes to party
Rayudu, who has been in fine touch, started watchfully with Pollard as the duo started to rebuild. Taking cue from his experienced partner, Rayudu took on Vinay in the 17th over by hitting the pacer for two sixes and a four.
Pollard then provided the late fireworks by hitting Chris Gayle for two fours and a six to finish off the match.
In all, Rayudu (81*) hit six fours and four sixes, while Pollard (52) had five boundaries and three sixes against his name.
Earlier, rain delayed the start and 11 overs into the chase, one of the light towers malfunctioned to further disrupt play. But in the midst of all this, a youngster announced his arrival.
With big names like Gayle, Virat and AB de Villiers failing with the bat, Mayank Agarwal took it on himself to help RCB post a challenging total. Coming in at the fall of de Villiers, Agarwal hit a blistering knock of 64 off 30 balls.
He took on Munaf Patel in the last over by hitting the medium pacer for 24 runs, including of two sixes and as many boundaries.
Dismissing Gayle cheaply was a necessity and the task was accomplished by Munaf when the Jamaican, in his effort to heave the ball out of the park, missed the line in the third over.
Mumbai hit the jackpot in the same over as skipper Virat was run out after a mix-up. With Tillakaratne Dilshan struggling and an out-of-form Saurabh Tiwary at the crease, Mumbai held the aces till Agarwal's advent.