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IPL 2014: Mumbai Indians defend their home turf by beating Royal Challengers Bangalore

Harbhajan Singh took two wickets for Mumbai Indians © IANS (File Photo)
Harbhajan Singh took two crucial wickets for Mumbai Indians © IANS (File Photo)

By Bharath Ramaraj

May 6, 2014

In the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 game played between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, some fantastic batting by the  likes of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli made it seem like visitors would chase down Mumbai’s monstrous target of 187 runs on the board. However, losing Gayle, AB  de Villiers followed by Kohli led to Mumbai coming back into the game and in the end they won it by a margin of 19 runs.

During the early overs, Gayle in particular played some towering sixes while facing medium pacers like Pawan Suyal. He used his reach to great effect. On the other end, Kohli ran like a jackrabbit across the crease to keep the scorecard ticking for Bangalore. Actually, Mumbai even dropped a catch off Kohli. When Lasith Malinga came back into the attack, Jasprit Bumrah dropped Virat Kohli at short mid-wicket. Fortunately for them, It turned out to be a costly miss.  Once the trio of Gayle, de Villiers and Kohli were out though, they lost the plot. Rilee Rossouw played a few shots but it was too late for them. In the field, Kieron Pollard showed great footballing skills off his own bowling to run out Yuvraj Singh.

While Mumbai were batting, they lost their way after starting well. But Rohit’s pyrotechnics helped them to put up a fine total on the board. They ended up with 187 runs on the board.  Actually, it was Ben Dunk and CM Gautam who stitched a fine partnership at the start of the innings for them.

However, once Dunk was dismissed by Harshal Patel with Yuvraj Singh taking the catch, they lost the plot. For a while, Gautam, the wicketkeeper-batsman looked in fine touch, but he was dismissed by Varun Aaron, the fast bowler, with Parthiv Patel taking an excellent catch behind the stumps. It was great to watch Gautam rocking onto the back-foot to  play a debonair pull shot that leave fielders motionless off Ashok Dinda.

To make it worse for them, all-rounder, Corey Anderson, who has flopped miserably in IPL 7 lost his wicket to the leg-spin of Yuzvendra Chahal. It has to be said that modern day batsmen continue to struggle against leg-spinners and that certainly has been the case in IPL 7 too.  Even Kieron Pollard known for his burgeoning struggled for a while on what was a flat deck for batting. He though, opened up his shoulders to clamber Harshal with a square cut. He got lucky a few times but played an important innings for MI.

Rohit too tried to up the ante for Mumbai. He took his time, before playing a wide range of  shots that he is known for. In fact, he looked rusty for a few overs, before He has had a bad IPL 7 till now as he averaged just over 20, before this game in IPL 2014. Rohit played a wonderful shot down the ground for a six off Dinda, the error prone seamer. In the 19th over of the game, he made merry against Dinda by smashing him all over the park. To make the game more interesting, there was an altercation between Starc and Pollard.

It was Bangalore who won the toss and elected to field. Mumbai suffered a big blow when Zaheer Khan, the experienced left-arm seamer was ruled out due to shoulder injury.  The track as expected is flat and should favour the batsmen throughout the game. In fact, Mitchell Starc and Aaron generated  a decent burst of pace for them.

Brief scores:

Mumbai Indians 187 for 5 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 59*, Kieron Pollard 43; Varun Aaron 1 for 18)  beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 168 for 8 in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 38, Virat Kohli 35;  Jasprit Bumrah 2 for 20) by 19 runs.

Man of the match: Rohit Sharma

Full Scorecard

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(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

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