In a match going down the wire, an unlucky Royal Challengers Bangalore lost a thrilling Indian Premier League (IPL) contest to Mumbai Indians on Thursday by just six runs despite an all-out effort by AB de Villiers.
With de Villers (70 unbeaten off 41) on song, it looked Bangalore would overhaul the 188-run target well in time but Mumbai held its nerves to snatch their first win in this year’s league.
de Villers, who knocked four boundaries and six hits into the stands, utilised the lifeline given to him well, as he was dropped by Yuvraj at slips in the very first delivery he faced.
Chasing the challenging target, Bangalore openers Moeen Ali (13 off 7) and Parthiv Patel started cautiously, putting up 17 runs in the initial three overs.
However, a brilliant direct hit by Rohit Sharma sent Ali back in the dug-out. Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli and Patel were then involved in a 40-run partnership, helping Bangalore cross the 50-run mark before Mayank Markande struck to get rid of the opener in the seventh over.
Kohli and de Villiers then anchored Bangalore’s innings with some sensible shots and it seemed the duo would comfortably guide their team home. But Jasprit Bumrah came in as a major relief for the visitors, dismissing a good-going Kohli on 46.
Meanwhile, Kohli also became the second player in the league’s history to amass 5,000 runs.
Bangalore then lost Shimron Hetmyer cheaply (5), but de Villers kept one end intact and also notched up his 29th IPL half-century.
With the required run-rate rising as Bangalore needed 72 from the last six overs, the South African star shifted gears and started hitting Mumbai bowlers all around the park.
With 17 required from final over, nothing went right for Mumbai as Shivam Dube clobbered Lasith Malinga for a maximum in the first delivery before Bumrah dropped the Bangalore batsman at point. However, Dube and de Villers failed to guide their team home as Bangalore fell six runs short.
For Mumbai, Bumrah (3/20) was the pick of the bowlers while Markande scalped one.
Earlier, some valuable top-order contributions followed by Hardik Pandya’s blitzkrieg helped Mumbai post a challenging 187/8 even as leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal shined for the hosts with a four-wicket haul.
Mumbai were looking good with the scoreboard reading 52/0 after six overs, but Chahal’s arrival changed the scenario as the leggie returned with impressive figures of 4/38 before Hardik’s (32 not out off 14) cameo brought Mumbai back into the game.
Put into bat, the visitors were off to a decent start, thanks to skipper Rohit (48 off 33) and Quinton de Kock (23 off 20). However, as soon as Kohli introduced Chahal in the seventh over, the spinner removed de Kock to put breaks on the 54-run opening stand.
Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav then tried to stablise the Mumbai innings, adding 33 runs for the second wicket before Umesh Yadav delivered a major breakthrough by dismissing the well-settled Mumbai skipper.
It was then up to Yuvraj Singh and Suryakumar to put things back in control and the duo succeeded a bit, adding 37 runs. Yuvraj, who tried his best to up the ante with a 12-ball 23, couldn’t stay long in the middle as Chahal applied brakes on the veteran’s inning with the Mumbai scoreboard reading 124/3 in 13.4 overs.
Before his dismissal, Yuvraj smashed Chahal for three consecutive sixes. However, the spinner had the last laugh.
Chahal looked unstoppable as he soon sent back Suryakumar for 38. The Mumbai middle-order then witnessed a collapse with Kieron Pollard (5), Krunal Pandya (1) and Mitchell McClenaghan (1) departing in quick succession with 147 runs on board after 17.1 overs.
However, Hardik’s lusty blows towards the end of innings helped the visitors post a fighting total.
Apart from Chahal, Umesh and Mohammed Siraj picked two wickets each.
Brief Score: Mumbai Indians 187/8 (Rohit Sharma 48, Suryakumar Yadav 38, Hardik Pandya 32*; Yuzvendra Chahal 4/38) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (AB de Villiers 70 not out, Virat Kohli 46; Jasprit Bumrah 3/20) by 6 runs.