Royal Challengers Bangalore suffered their sixth defeat in seven games this season of Indian Premier League after they went down by five wickets against Mumbai Indians. The hosts were set a target of 172 runs to chase and it took a 16-ball 37 from Hardik Pandya to script the win.
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to field against Royal Challengers Bangalore. MI were forced to make one change. The injured seamer Alzarri Joseph was replaced by Lasith Malinga. RCB made no changes to the team.
AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali hit impressive half centuries to guide Royal Challengers Bangalore to a respectable 171 for 7 against Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League game here Monday. After RCB lost skipper Virat Kohli (8 off 9 balls) and Parthiv Patel (28 off 20 balls) inside seven overs, de Villiers (75 in 51 balls) along with Ali (50 runs in 32 balls) resurrected the innings with a 95-run stand for the third wicket.
The South African star stamped his authority, hammering six fours and four sixes, as he completed his half century in 41 balls. Ali was a little bit more aggressive than de Villiers as he hit five sixes and a lone boundary as the two took the MI attack to cleaners.
Hardik Pandya produced a sensational late cameo of 37 not out off just 16 balls as he guided Mumbai Indians to a five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in an IPL match here on Monday. Chasing 172 for a win, the match was in a balance when he came out in the 16th over but Hardik, who was named in India’s World Cup squad on Monday, turned the game on its head, smashing five boundaries and two sixes during his unconquered 16-ball innings on a turning track at the Wankhede Stadium.
Mumbai needed 22 runs from the last two overs but Hardik took just six balls to hit the required runs, smashing left-arm spinner Pawan Negi for two boundaries and as may sixes to end the run chase. He finished the game with a single off the last ball of the 19th over as Mumbai reached 172 for 5 in 19 overs.
The gamechanger has to be the 19th over during Mumbai Indians’ run chase. With two of the heavy hitters in the middle, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard, RCB had a tricky choice to make – whether to give the ball to seamers who had been expensive in the day – or to hand it to Pawan Negi, who had been economical. The pitch was certainly assisting the spinners and Yuzvendra Chahal and Moeen Ali had taken two wickets each. RCB bowling coach Ashish Nehra, from the dugout, advised Kohli to go with Negi.
The first ball was a dot, which restored RCB’s hopes. In the next four balls, Hardik Pandya smashed two fours and two sixes, bringing the equation down to 2 runs needed from 7 balls. Negi then bowled a wide, while Pandya stole a single in the final ball of the over to take his side home.
Virat Kohli: We played a pretty good game I guess. I think with the ball in the first six overs we were not right up there. Conceding 65 in six, it was always difficult to come back from that. We had to take a chance with the spinner at the end with two right-handers in. (On Moeen) He is striking the ball so well and he’s bowling with a lot of heart and determination. It’s good to see a senior player in the team taking responsibility. He deserves all the credit for his performances. We just have to enjoy ourselves, play the way we did in the last two games and try to show more composure in those pressure situations. Take those half-chances. The catch that went down off Hardik could have been a game-changer.
Rohit Sharma: His (Hardik) hitting has been helping the team and him as well, to move forward. This is something he wanted to do because he didn’t have a lot of time before coming to the IPL. So he wanted to prove a point, to himself than anyone else. Lasith’s performance matters a lot for us. We missed him for a few games. His form is very critical for Mumbai. Trust me, overs the years, bowling at the death at the Wankhede is very difficult. Credit goes to the bowlers for restricting a good RCB batting line-up to 170 odd. To be honest, I still haven’t figured out the pitch here this season. Normally it’s safe to chase here, but today no one expected it to play this way.
Scorecard: Royal Challengers Bangalore (de Villiers 75, Ali 50; Malinga 4/31); Mumbai Indians (de Kock 40, S Yadav 29; Ali 2/18)
(With inputs from PTI)