Lasith Malinga made a sensational comeback in the 2019 Indian Premier League and Hardik Pandya smashed an ubeaten 37 off 16 balls as Mumbai Indians defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 5 wickets at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday to move into the top-3 of the points table.
Chasing 172, Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock powered MI to a blazing start and left RCB bowled shocked and dazed. After a stutter, Hardik Pandya played a brilliant cameo to win it for Mumbai Indians.
Mumbai Indians have now won 5 out of their 8 matches while Royal Challengers Bangalore have lost 7 out of their 8 games and continue to languish at the bottom of the table.
Rohit Sharma was on fire for Mumbai Indians after a string of low scores in the 2019 IPL while Quinton de Kock carried on from where he left off against Rajasthan Royals. On Saturday, de Kock made a fluent 81 and two days later, he looked like he had lost none of his touch.
Rohit was destructive and had smashed 2 fours and 2 sixes in a quick 28 but he was done in by a superb delivery from Moeen Ali. However, the 70-run opening stand set the tone for the MI chase with a few aggressive batsmen yet to come.
Quinton de Kock was looking to anchor the innings but three balls later in the 8th over, Moeen Ali struck again to remove Rohit’s opening partner. At 71 for 2, MI had their hopes pinned on Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan on a pitch which had assisted Mumbai Indians’ pacers earlier in the evening.
But Mumbai Indians remained undaunted by Moeen Ali’s double strike. Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan ensured the hosts did not lose any of their momentum after a superb start by the openers.
Ishan was particularly threatening to take it away from RCB very quickly before Yuzvendra Chahal ended his stay at the crease. Ishan Kishan’s 9-ball 21 included 3 sixes.
RCB managed to dry up the runs for the next 5 overs before Chahal struck in his last over to remove a well-settled Suryakumar Yadav. The asking rate was climbing steadily when Hardik Pandya walked out to join his brother Krunal in the middle. MI needed 31 off the last 3 overs but they had enough firepower to believe they would get home.
Hardik Pandya has played several cameos down the order this season and he was in the mood again Monday night. However, his brother Krunal struggled thrroughout his innings and fell to Mohammad Siraj for 11 off 21 balls.
The pressure was on Hardik to finish it off for MI who needed 22 off 2 overs. But he hit Pawan Negi for a 6 and 4 to bring the equation down to 12 off 9 balls. Another 6 meant it was only a matter of time before MI wrapped up victory.
Mumbai Indians had won the toss and decided to bowl. Jason Behrendorff struck in the 3rd over of the innings to remove RCB skipper Virat Kohli for 8. While AB de Villiers took his time to get in. Parthiv Patel smashed Behrendorff for 19 runs in an over to give the innings some kind of momentum.
Hardik Patel ended Parthiv Patel’s dangerous knock but AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali joined foruces to add 95 for the 3rd wicket. Moeen became the first of Lasith Malinga’s 4 victims when he was caught by Hardik Pandya at deep square leg for a 32-ball 50.
Marcus Stoinis fell to Malinga four balls later and it was thanks to some lusty late blows from AB de Villiers tha RCB reached a score their bowlers would have felt comfortable chasing.
But Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock gave MI a rollicking start to deflate RCB who can barely afford to lose anymore if they still harbour hopes of making it to the playoffs.
Source – Indiatoday