There wasn't really a favourite as Mumbai Indians took on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Wednesday. But, Bangalore would have believed they held a slight advantage. After all, Mumbai had been thrashed by Sunrisers Hyderabad by a massive margin in the previous game. Also, Bangalore were playing at home. Mumbai's bowlers however gave their team a massive advantage by restricting the opponents to a total in the region of 150. Their batsmen then batted reasonably well to chase down the total, and bring their campaign back on track again.
Throughout the tournament, batting has been Bangalore's strength, but on Wednesday, they failed, and it wasn't surprising that their bowlers were not able to defend the total. Virat Kohli's rare early dismissal was a big setback for Bangalore. In the earlier matches, he has almost singlehandedly won games for the team. But, that wasn't the case against Mumbai. Chris Gayle was brought back into the scheme of things in the hope that he can deliver. But, he again failed to make any sort of an impression. At 17 for 2, Bangalore needed the middle order to fire.
A lot of hopes rested on AB de Villiers after the poor start by the Bangalore openers. He looked in decent touch, but could not carry on after a decent start, and his dismissal at the halfway stage left the team in big turmoil. If at all Bangalore managed to cross 150 after the dismissal of the big three, it was due to the efforts of Lokesh Rahul who once again pitched in with a decent batting effort, compiling a half-century, and holding the innings together. He got good support from Sachin Baby, who again chipped in with a nice cameo, but the run out of Shane Watson was again a setback for the hosts.
Mumbai will be extremely pleased with their bowling performance on the day. Krunal Pandya was most frugal, finishing with figures of 1 for 15, and his four overs literally stonewalled the Bangalore innings. There were good efforts from the others as well. Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan were responsible for the big breakthroughs early on while Jasprit Bumrah and Harbhajan Singh again kept things tight. Thanks to the well-rounded effort, Mumbai managed to hold Bangalore to a gettable total.
Once they had restricted Bangalore, the game was Mumbai's for the taking. They weren't totally fluent in the run chase, but did well enough to get over the line. After Parthiv Patel fell early, skipper Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu consolidated. Then, the brute hitting force of Kieron Pollard and Jos Buttler came to the fore as they creamed the opposition bowlers into submission, en route to a much-needed victory. As for Bangalore, for a change, their batting let them down.
--By A Cricket Analyst