IPL: Mumbai almost out as RCB finally defend a total


Royal Challengers Bangalore 167 for 7 (Vohra 45, Pandya 3-28) beat Mumbai Indians 153 for 7 (Pandya 50, Southee 2-25, Umesh 2-29, Siraj 2-8) by 14 runs

Virat Kohli doesn’t hold his emotions back BCCI

Umesh Yadav took two wickets off consecutive deliveries with the new ball, Ishan Kishan fell for a golden duck and Royal Challengers Bangalore lost to Mumbai Indians by 46 runs.

Two weeks later, Umesh was on a hat-trick with the new ball against Mumbai again, Kishan bagged another golden duck, his third in four innings, but this time Umesh’s opening burst also included Rohit Sharma’s first-ball duck and the Royal Challengers bowling line-up sustained the pressure throughout for once to defend 167 on their home ground and move up to fifth place after only their third win from eight matches.

The defending champions, meanwhile, are back in seventh place and need to win all their remaining six matches lest they wish to rely on other teams to help them stay in playoff contention.

Rohit opted to bowl and a combined bowling show from the spinners and Hardik Pandya in the death overs was restricting Royal Challengers to under 150 until Colin de Grandhomme’s 10-ball 23 lifted them in the last over.

Eventually, the early loss of wickets hurt Mumbai this time and even though the Pandya brothers seemed up to the task of scoring 62 runs from the last five overs, some pin-point bowling with pace variations sealed it for the hosts.

Virat Kohli had bowled Umesh and Yuzvendra Chahal by the 15th over yet again and the Pandya brothers had the cushion of Ben Cutting to follow in the chase.

Among the quicks, only Tim Southee and Mohammed Siraj had two overs left each so Kohli decided to give the 16th to de Grandhomme. He conceded 17, and Mumbai needed 45 from 24 only to see a different story unfold this time.

Siraj and Southee bowled a stirring mix of length deliveries, pace variations and wide yorkers to prevent the Pandyas from hitting down the ground. Siraj conceded only one boundary in his last two overs, Southee allowed Mumbai five little singles in the 18th over and Siraj also had Krunal caught at point for 23 to give the visitors a stiff equation of 25 from six.

Hardik then hit Southee’s offcutter to long-on and Cutting connected well with only two of the remaining five deliveries. Southee finished with 2 for 25 and a Man of the Match award.

Even though their bowling contingent turned the story around, the death overs stung Royal Challengers’ batting line-up this time. They were 123 for 3 with Kohli on 29 and five overs to go, easily set for 175.

However, Jasprit Bumrah had two overs left, and Hardik bowled offcutters and slower ones consistently to remove Mandeep Singh, Kohli and Washington Sundar in the 18th over for only two runs. Bumrah didn’t get all his yorkers right but the batsman couldn’t middle many either.

Only one of his final 12 deliveries went to the boundary and there were five dots among them as well. So, Royal Challengers found themselves 143 for 7 with one over to go. Fortunately and decisively for them, de Grandhomme smacked three sixes off the last four balls, including a free hit, for a competitive total.

Barring three expensive overs, Mumbai conceded only 101 runs in 17 overs on Tuesday night. Most of the Mumbai bowlers strangled the batsmen, not letting any of them, except de Grandhomme, finish with a strike rate of over 150. It was the remaining three overs that Royal Challengers cashed in on to hammer 66 runs. (Excerpts from ESPNcricinfo)



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