The hosts’ skipper makes an unbeaten 59 and then manages his bowling resources brilliantly
Rohit Sharma kept his poise at the crease in making an unbeaten 59, and then handled his bowling resources with assurance at the Wankhede stadium on Tuesday as Mumbai Indians rattled up a daunting 187 for seven and then throttled Royal Challengers Bangalore’s formidable batting line-up to notch up a 19-run victory in its seventh match of this IPL season.
The visitors made 168 for eight in 20 overs.
Harbhajan struck twice, dismissing the plucky Parthiv Patel and the marauding Chris Gayle, both openers falling to the sweep against the off-spinner coming round the wicket.
Mumbai Indians leapt in delight when A.B. de Villiers played inside the line to Jasprit Bumrah in trying to steer him to fine leg to fall for a mere nine runs.
Then, Pollard launched into a dance imitating football step-overs after running out Yuvraj Singh, and the battle was almost won there.
Earlier, after losing the toss, Rohit focussed on the task at hand despite distractions like an ugly confrontation at the wicket between partner Kieron Pollard and Mitchell Starc.
Royal Challengers were in the game till the 10th over, but, from then on, it was the Mumbai Indians skipper who called the shots.
Showing finesse and ruthlessness in generous measure he put on 97 runs with Pollard (43 off 31 balls, 6x4).
Earlier, Ambati Rayudu joined C.M Gautam at the crease after opener Ben Dunk’s departure for 15. However, Rayudu did not last long either, picking the wrong line to an Ashoke Dinda in-cutter and lost his middle stump. Then. Varun Aaron had his success when Gautam edged him behind, and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal had his turn to celebrate after baiting Corey Anderson with flight.
At the half-way mark of the Mumbai innings, Virat Kohli seemed in control, with the scoreboard reading 85 for four.
The onus was now on Rohit and Pollard to get aggressive. Both played fairly conservatively against spin from both ends and when seamer Harshal Patel joined the attack in the 16th over, both opened out.
Pollard got run out in the last over, but by then Rohit had smashed the ball around to boost MI towards an imposing 187, out of which 25 were extras gifted by RCB.
Mumbai Indians: Ben Dunk c Yuvraj b Harshal 15 (14b, 2x4), C.M. Gautam c Parthiv b Aaron 30 (28b, 2x4, 3x6), A. Rayudu b Dinda 9 (9b, 1x4), R Sharma (not out) 59 (35 balls, 3x4, 4x6), C. Anderson c Kohli b Chahal 6 (4b, 1x6), K. Pollard run out 43 (31b, 6x4), A. Tare (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (b-4, lb-8, nb-1, w-12): 25; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs): 187.
Fall of wickets: 1-25 (Dunk), 2-71 (Rayudu), 3-77 (Gautam), 4-84 (Anderson), 5-181 (Pollard).
Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling: Starc 4-0-29-0, Dinda 3-0-38-1, Harshal 4-0-28-1, Aaron 4-0-41-1, Chahal 4-0-30-1, Yuvraj 1-0-9-0.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: C. Gayle b Harbhajan 38 (24b, 3x4, 3x6), Parthiv b Harbhajan 26 (19b, 5x4), V. Kohli c Anderson b Suyal 35 (28b, 2x4, 2x6), A.B. de Villiers b Bumrah 9 (7b, 2x4), Yuvraj run out 6 (10b), R. Rossouw c Rohit b Malinga 24 (14b, 1x4, 2x6), M. Starc c Pollard b Malinga 5 (4b), Harshal b Bumrah 6 (2b, 1x6), V. Aaron (not out) 7 (8b, 1x4), A. Dinda (not out) 2 (4b); Extras (lb-6, w-4): 10; Total (for eight wkts. in 20 overs): 168.
Fall of wickets: 1-53 (Parthiv), 2-94 (Gayle), 3-117 (de Villiers), 4-119 (Kohli), 5-132 (Yuvraj), 6-139 (Starc), 7-151 (Harshal), 8-159 (Rossouw).
Mumbai Indians bowling: Suyal 3-0-35-1, Bumrah 4-0-22-2, Harbhajan 4-0-33-2, Malinga 4-0-29-2, Pollard 4-0-37-0, Rohit 1-0-6-0.
Man-of-the-match: Rohit Sharma
Mumbai Indians won by 19 runs