Kohli’s decision to chase works well as his side wins by seven wickets with 15 balls to spare

Royal Challengers Bangalore faced a few hiccups but sailed to victory against Mumbai Indians at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday evening.

Set a none too sizeable target of 116, the winner tottered at one point on 17 for three, but was home and dry after stability was restored by Parthiv Patel’s 45-ball 57 in tandem with A.B. de Villiers’s 45 in an unbroken 99-run stand for the fourth wicket.

The start for the winner was none too sound though, with a near top order collapse. Lasith Malinga slung his yorker to good effect, rattling the timber behind the tall Nic Maddinson, thereby taking the Sri Lankan’s tally of bowled dismissals in the IPL to 50.

His end switched, Zaheer Khan wreaked more havoc, removing in three balls Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh, the Challengers’ captain fishing outside the off while the southpaw was trapped in front. Quite understandably, the pursuit slackened with Patel and de Villiers keener to contain the damage, opting for the safer route of singles.

The South African opened the face of his bat soon, carting Ojha to long on and Jasprit Bumrah over the mid-wicket railings. Patel followed suit, patting a Malinga steepler over stumper Tare’s head and smacking a wayward Ojha to fine leg.

The left-right combo thrived and it was with a flourish that the diminutive left-hander tonked Malinga to bring the teams on par. Another single from his blade and the southern squad had surpassed the rival total.

Earlier, the Challengers chose to chase yet again. Two spilt catches in as many of the opening overs were made up by the very same pair who had dropped them, the beneficiaries not lasting much longer though. Michael Hussey struck a rising Morkel delivery straight to square leg Chahal and Maddinson positioned deeper in the region hung on to Tare’s hit.

The Bangalore side struck it big, when A.B. de Villiers at long off didn’t need to do much leg work in holding a heave from Rohit Sharma. The weakness for lofted drives proved to be Pollard’s undoing too, Sachin Rana at long on positioning himself perfectly to pouch the ball inches inside the ropes.

Mumbai’s skiers continued and so did Challengers’ fine catching — Rayudu, Anderson and Zaheer all holing out to the almost packed arena’s periphery. Rayudu’s 35 was his side’s mainstay — the 37-ball knock was compiled with resolve even if it contained just one boundary.

Scoreboard

Mumbai Indians: M. Hussey c Chahal b Morkel 16 (15b, 2x4), A. Tare c Maddinson b Aaron 17 (18b, 2x4), A. Rayudu c de Villiers b Starc 35 (37b, 1x4), Rohit c de Villiers b Chahal 2 (5b), K. Pollard c Rana b Chahal 3 (7b), C. Anderson c Kohli b Starc 18 (19b, 2x4), Harbhajan b Aaron 8 (8b, 1x4), Zaheer c Rana b Dinda 0 (2b), L. Malinga run out 2 (4b), P. Ojha (not out) 1 (5b), J. Bumrah (not out) 1 (1b); Extras (b-1, lb-3, w-7, nb-1): 12; Total (for nine wkts. in 20 overs): 115.

Fall of wickets: 1-20 (Hussey), 2-52 (Tare), 3-60 (Rohit), 4-70 (Pollard), 5-101 (Rayudu), 6-101 (Anderson), 7-101 (Zaheer), 8-110 (Harbhajan), 9-113 (Malinga).

Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling: Starc 4-0-21-2, Morkel 3-0-23-1, Aaron 4-0-30-2, Chahal 4-0-17-2, Dinda 4-0-14-1, Yuvraj 1-0-6-0.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: N. Maddinson b Malinga 12 (8b, 2x4), Parthiv (not out) 57 (45b, 7x4), V. Kohli c Harbhajan b Zaheer 0 (2b), Yuvraj lbw b Zaheer 0 (2b), A.B. de Villiers (not out) 45 (48b, 3x4, 1x6); Extras (lb-1, w-1): 2; Total (for three wkts. in 17.3 overs): 116.

Fall of wickets: 1-16 (Maddinson), 2-17 (Kohli), 3-17 (Yuvraj).

Mumbai Indians bowling: Zaheer 4-0-21-2, Harbhajan 4-0-14-0, Malinga 3.3-0-29-1, Bumrah 2-0-14-0, Ojha 4-0-37-0.

Man-of-the-match: Parthiv.

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