Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Indian Premier League, IPL 2019, Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, MI vs RCB,
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will be up against each other.

11.59 pm: That’s a wrap for now, folks. Did this match set the tone for the week? It’s your call. Do stick around for all the post-match press conference reports, analysis, videos and much. We hope you enjoyed our coverage today as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you. It’s Kings XI Punjab hosting Rajasthan Royals tomorrow and all eyes will be on that match, you know what happened in the reverse fixture, right? Ooops, did any talks about the Mankad dimisssal? Yes, here’s our preview (READ: All eyes on Ashwin vs Buttler as Royals seek revenge against faltering KXIP) From all of us here, it’s goodnight!

11.58 pm: Now time for the winning skipper, Rohit Sharma to reflect on tonight’s performance:

“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.”

11.55 pm: For his belligerent knock, Hardik Pandya is the Game Changer of the match, here’s what he had to say:

“Fantastic victory. Lucky with the start we got. Hats off to both the openers. It was not easy to bat on this wicket but they made it easy for us in the end. I felt RCB didn’t bowl well in the Powereplay and that’s where I thought they lost the game. We began well and had the bowlers who hit the deck hard and got some purchase of the wicket. The way wicket started playing, even AB found it difficult but they both (AB and Moeen) played well. It’s always good to win at home. We are on the road and hopefully we can continue the winning momentum.”

11.53 pm: The post-match presentation begins. First up, the losing captain Virat Kohli

“We played a pretty good game I guess. With the ball, we weren’t that great in the first six overs but the guys fought hard in the middle overs and came back well. At the end, we had to take the risk with the left-arm spinner, with two right-handed batsmen. Giving pace was risky, especially with a bit of dew. Unfortunately, it didn’t come off. He’s (Moeen) been outstanding. Striking the ball well and bowling with a lot of heart. It’s good to see a senior player taking responsibility and he deserves all the credit. (On the road ahead) We just have to enjoy ourselves, play the way we did in the last two games. Need to keep our composure under pressure. Need to take half-chances.” 

Mumbai Indians innings (Target: 172)

Summary: RCB did snap a six-match losing streak, but it looks like they’re gone back to square one. While they did put up a fight, their bowlers failed to capitalise on the pressure moments. It’s safe to say now that it’s all over for RCB. Pawan Negi was not upto the mark tonight, he bowled a really poor penultimate over. The pacers Siraj and Umesh Yadav were terrible. From MI’s perspective, Hardik was great under pressure, but he was brilliant in the end. Credit to Ishan Kishan for the way he counter-attacked and got three crucial sixes that kept MI going. Good finish by MI, but they can do better!

11.42 pm: Some initial reactions from tonight’s match

11.40 pm: IT’S ALL OVER! That ended really fast. Hardik Pandya has finished this off with Mumbai Indians registering a resounding five-wicket victory. Hardik remains unbeaten on 37 off just 16 balls. It’s GAME OVER for RCB

19th over: Pawan Negi has come back into the attack. MI need 22 from the last 2 overs. BOOM! It was just a matter of time before Hardik Pandya breaks the shackles, hammers this straight down the ground for a SIX and follows it with a BOUNDARY. Hardik has killed this match, he smashes another one, Mumbai Indians on the road to victory here.

18th over: Mohammad Siraj comes back into the attack, and Hardik has smashed his one straight over the bowler’s head for a BOUNDARY, SIRAJ STRIKES to get rid of Krunal Pandya, who departs for 11. Kieron Pollard has joined Hardik in the middle. 9 runs and the wicket from this over. MI 150/5 (Hardik 16, Kieron Pollard 0)

17th over: Navdeep Saini comes back into the attack, and Hardik Pandya welcomes him with a BOUNDARY! He has cut this one towards widish third man, exquisite shot. Saini has come back strongly here, but Hardik spoils it smashing a BOUNDARY off the final ball. MI 141/4 (Hardik Pandya 10, Krunal Pandya 10)

Strategic timeout!

16th over: Yuzvendra Chahal comes back into the attack, and the move to bowl Chahal has worked. HE HAS TAKEN THE BIG WICKET OF SURYAKUMAR YADAV, who looked determined to take MI home. Surykumar attacks the leggie, but ends up giving a simple catch to Navdeep Saini at long off. Suryakumar departs for 29. Hardik Pandya joins his elder brother in the middle. Excellent over by Chahal, 4 runs and the wicket. MI 131/4 (Krunal Pandya 9, Hardik Pandya 1) 

15th over: Pawan Negi comes back into the attack. Meanwhile, Moeen Ali has scored a 50 today and finishes with figures of 4-0-18-2 in the game. Job well done! Suryakumar plays a nice square cut for a BOUNDARY! 8 runs from this over. MI 127/3 (Suryakumar Yadav 27, Krunal 8)

14th over: Moeen Ali will continue. 56 needed from 43. Mumbai still way ahead in the game. Another excellent over by Mo, just 3 runs from it. MI 119/3 (Suryakumar 21, Krunal 7)

13th over: Chahal to continue, and Suryakumar has literally sweeps this one, over square leg for his first boundary. What has just happened there? Looks like Chahal has injured himself, but he looks good to carry on for now. 6 runs from this over. MI 116/3 (Suryakumar 19, Krunal 6)

12th over: Moeen Ali will continue, golden over by Mo! Just 2 from it, MI 110/3 (Suryakumar Yadav 14, Krunal 5)

11th over: Yuzvendra Chahal comes into the attack and he STRIKES with the wicket of ISHAN KISHAN, gets greedy and throws his wicket away, easy stumping by Parthiv Patel. Ishan departs for 21 off just 9 balls. Krunal Pandya joins Suryakumar in the middle. 11 runs comes in this over. MI 108/3 (Suryakumar 13, Krunal Pandya 4)

10th over: Moeen Ali to continue and he concedes 10 runs in this over, which includes a SIX by SKY (Suryakumar Yadav) over extra cover. MI 97/2 (Ishan Kishan 15, Suryakumar 12)

9th over: Pawan Negi to continue, and Ishan Kishan has smoked back-to-back SIXES, he has broken the shackles. Big over for MI, 14 from it. MI 87/2 (Ishan Kishan 14, Suryakumar Yadav 3) 

8th over: ANOTHER BOWLING CHANGE: WICKET! Moeen Ali comes into the attack and he strikes in his first delivery, he can do no wrong today, cleans up Rohit Sharma, who departs for 28. Moeen Ali does it again, this time he traps De Kock, plumb lbw, he departs for 40. Brilliant over by Moeen, 3 runs and 2 wickets. MI 73/2 (Suryakumar Yadav 2, Ishan Kishan 1)

7th over: BOWLING CHANGE: Left-arm spinner Pawan Negi comes into the attack, and finally a good over for RCB, the best until now. Just 3 runs from it. MI 70/0 (De Kock 40, Rohit 28)

Strategic timeout!

6th over: Navdeep Saini comes back into the attack, and Rohit Sharma has smashed him through extra cover, plenty of width outside off, this is training practice for Rohit and De Kock, who also smokes a HUGE SIX, a 77-metre maximum over mid-wicket. 13 runs off this over. Mumbai Indians in CRUISE CONTROL. MI 67/0 (De Kock 39, Rohit 26)

5th over: Spin introduced and Yuzvendra Chahal comes into the attack. 6 runs from Chahal’s first over which also includes a BOUNDARY by De Kock, who sits down on one knee and swipes it over square leg with exquisite timing. MI 54/0 (De Kock 32, Rohit 20)

4th over: Mohammad Siraj introduced into the attack, and Rohit targets him immediately, absolutely silly from Siraj, can’t be bowling short and wide to Rohit, deposits this one over deep point fence for a SIX! Two dot balls followed and Rohit ends it with a boundary, slaps it over cover. Terrible, terrible bowling by Siraj. 12 runs off this over. MI 48/0 (De Kock 26, Rohit 20)

3rd over: Umesh Yadav to continue and he’s welcomed with a BOUNDARY by De Kock, who smashes this one to the sweeper cover region. De Kock dealing with BOUNDARIES, smashes his 4th one and follows it with with a SIX, outrageous bowling by Umesh Yadav. 16 runs from this over. MI 36/0 (De Kock 25, Rohit 9)

2nd over: Navdeep Saini will share the new ball with Umesh Yadav. BOOM! Rohit Sharma has taken the aerial route to get off the mark. He clobbers this one over fine-leg. 11 runs off this over. MI 20/0 (Rohit 9, De Kock 9)

1st over: Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock have made their way to the middle. Umesh Yadav will open the attack for RCB, the RUN-CHASE begins! FOUR! De Kock begins with a boundary, finds the gap between mid-wicket and mid-on, smashes another one down leg, terrible line by Umesh. 9 runs from the over. MI 9/0 (Quinton de Kock 8, Rohit Sharma 0)

9.54 pm: Here’s what Moeen Ali had to say about the Wankhede pitch which looks more than just what meets the eye:

“To start with, it’s a bit tough to bat on. As you bat longer, it gets easier. We tried to pick on certain bowlers as we could get. I think it’s a decent score. There was a period when we thought if we got to 170, it would be nice. Obviously, AB’s run out was really crucial. Cost us a bit. Still happy with the total. We felt like we had to be braver with the bat. When you have Virat and AB in the side, you tend to depend a lot on them. But the others including myself need to step up too.”

Royal Challengers Bangalore innings

Summary: RCB have made a meal of it at the end. They would definitely wanted a stronger finish specially after the platform AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali gave them. Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah pulled things back significantly as the last four overs went for just 35 runs. RCB looked towards heading in an excess of 180, but some excellent death over bowling from Malinga and Bumrah meant that RCB fell short by at least 10-15 runs. Note Malinga’s figures here, he finishes with four wickets for just 31 runs in his four overs, while Bumrah remained wicketless and concedes just 22 runs that included 1 maiden in his four overs. A 172-run target should be quite easy at the Wankhede. The MI run-chase in a few moments from now. Stick around.

9.46 pm: Some initial reactions from RCB’s innings

20th over: Malinga misses the yorker and ABD  hashammered it over deep square leg for a big six. WICKET! ABD’s RUN OUT by Kieron Pollard, a fine innings by the South African comes to an end, gone for 75. Three wickets in three balls in the final over. After Akshdeep Nath, now Pawan Negi departs, Malinga showing his class here. THAT’S IT, THREE WICKETS IN THE FINAL OVER TO PEG THE VISITORS BACK AS RCB FINISH AT 171/7

19th over: Bumrah to continue, and ABD has smashed him for SUCCESSIVE BOUNDARIES, 180 dependent only on AB de Villiers now. 10 runs from the over. RCB 162/4 (De Villiers 68, Akshdeep 2)

18th over: WICKETS! And just after he reaches his half-century, Moeen Ali departs, Slinga Malinga STRIKES, the slower delivery works, Moeen goes after it, but ends up getting caught by Hardik Pandya in the deep. He departs for a 32-ball 50. Marcus Stoinis has joined De Villiers in the middle. And Malinga has sent the new batsman back for a DUCK, the slower delivery doing the trick yet again.  Akshdeep Nath is the new batsmen in. Golden over by Lasith Malinga, 8 runs and 2 wickets. RCB 152/4 (De Villiers 59)

17th over: Jasprit Bumrah is back into the attack, and it’s FIFTY for AB de Villiers, back to back half-centuries for him, this one coming in 41 balls, his 32nd in the IPL. 8 runs coming from this Bumrah over. RCB 144/2 (De Villiers 52, Moeen Ali 50)

Strategic timeout! And a much needed one for Mumbai Indians. Moeen Ali and AB de Villiers have done an incredible job for RCB. The partnership now between these two is 87, and ABD, once looking scratchy, is well set.

16th over: Jason Behrendorff has come back into the attack to bowl his final over. He has had a brilliant day today with figures of 3.0-0-32-1. Moeen might just be spoiling his figures here, he’s smashed a BOUNDARY AND HAS FOLLOWED IT UP WITH A HUGE, HUGE HIT to mid-wicket. 17 runs from Behrendorff’s last over, good one for RCB. 136/2 (De Villiers 48, Moeen 46)

15th over: BOWLING CHANGE: Krunal Pandya comes into the attack and he’s gone for 10 runs in his first over, with Moeen Ali spoiling the over with a MAXIMUM over long-on. RCB 119/2 (De Villiers 47, Moeen 30) 

Here’s a STAT ATTACK:

14th over: Rahul Chahar will continue, and ABD attacks, 100 comes up in 13.2 overs. And that’s the 50-run partnership between Moeen Ali and ABD. Excellent over for RCB, 12 runs from it. RCB 109/2 (De Villiers 45, Moeen 22)

13th over: Slinga comes back into the attack, and ABD launches one into the deep mid-wicket stands. He’s now beginning to find some rhythm. 11 runs coming from this over. RCB 97/2 (De Villiers 40, Moeen 15)

12th over: Rahul Chahar to continue and he concedes just 5 runs in this over. RCB 86/2 (De Villiers 31, Moeen 13)

11th over: 11 runs comes from this over by Hardik Pandya that includes a SIX by De Villiers over the keeper’s head. RCB on the move here. 81/2 (De Villiers 28, Moeen Ali 11)

10th over: WHAT A SHOT FROM MOEEN ALI! A nonchalant flick off Rahul Chahar sails over the boundary ropes for a SIX. Sublime timing that. But, Chahar has come back well two straight googly’s to beat Ali. He got a bottom edge off the third delivery and quinton de Kock failed to hold on to a really touch chance. Still 8 runs off it. RCB 70/2 (De Villiers 19*, Ali 10*)

TIME-OUT!

9th over: Hardik Pandya on for his second over, and he nearly castles AB de Villiers, but a lucky escape for the South African, and what more that lemon cut earns his a boundary as well. Pandya has his hands on hips, he can’t do anything more than that. Seven runs off the over and it’s time-out. RCB 62/2 (DE Villiers 18*, Ali 2*)

8th over: ANOTHER BOWLING CHANGE: Rahul Chahar comes into the attack to bowl his leg spinners and he beats AB de Villiers with tun and bounce off the first delivery. But, de Villiers is up for the challenge and reverse sweeps Chahar for a full off a fullish delivery. Still six runs off it. RCB 55/2 (De Villiers 13*, Moeen Ali 1*)

7th over: BOWLING CHANGE and a WICKET! Hardik Pandya comes into the attack, and he delivers with the wicket of Parthiv Patel, soft dismissal right there. Misread the pace and ends up chipping it straight to Suryakumar Yadav at backward point. Parthiv perishes for 28. Moeen Ali is the new batsman in. Excellent over by Hardik Pandya, 4 runs and the wicket. RCB 49/2 (De Villiers 8)

6th over: Bumrah to continue, and ABD gets into the act, bludgeons this one over point for a BOUNDARY! 5 from the over. RCB 45/1 (Parthiv 26, De Villiers 6)

5th over: Behrendorff to continue and Parthiv has attacked him straight away, slaps this one over mid-wicket for a BOUNDARY. Parthiv Patel really turning the heat on. He clobbers Behrendorff for 3 BOUNDARIES AND A SIX IN THIS OVER. 19 runs from it. RCB 40/1 (Parthiv 26, De Villiers 2)

4th over: BOWLING CHANGE: Jasprit Bumrah has been introduced into the attack, top stuff by Bumrah, just 1 run from his opening over. RCB 21/1 (Parthiv 8, De Villiers 2)

3rd over: BIG WICKET! Behrendorff and he has taken the BIG WICKET!, YES, it’s Kohli, who has to go. He angles this one from a good length around off and it bounces just a bit more than Kohli anticipated, he edges it to de Kock who takes it with ease. Kohli departs for just 8. AB de Villiers has joined Parthiv in the middle. What an over by Behrendorff, 8 runs and the big wicket. RCB 20/1 (Parthiv 8, AB de Villiers 2)

2nd over: It’s Slinga Malinga time! Good over by Malinga, just 5 runs from it. MI 12/0 (Kohli 8, Parthiv 3)

1st over: Parthiv Patel and the captain Virat Kohli come out to bat. Jason Behrendorff will open the attack for Mumbai Indians. Kohli and got off the mark with a stylish short, was too straight by the bowler and he guides it past the diving forward square leg fielder for a BOUNDARY. 7 runs from the opening over. RCB 7/0 (Virat Kohli 5, Parthiv Patel 1)

7.55 pm: Minutes away from the first ball.

7.43 pm: So, RCB will be batting first! Brace yourselves up for this one, folks. Watch out for those balls flying!

7.36 pm: Here are the playing XIs:

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma(c), Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan(w), Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jason Behrendorff, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Parthiv Patel(w), Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Pawan Negi, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj

7.32 pm: Captains have their say at the toss:

Rohit Sharma: “We’re gonna bowl first. The nature of the ground says that it plays better in the second half. Also it’s something our team is good at. Yes, it was a tough loss (against RR) but you need to give them credit. Jos Buttler played a fab knock. We have one change – Alzarri is injured, Malinga is back”

Virat Kohli: “I would have done the same. As Rohit said, it’s a difficult ground to defend and we’re good at chasing. So, we would have bowled first too. Wouldn’t want to look too far ahead. Have told the boys to enjoy on the field and not take much pressure. We’re playing the same team.

7.30 pm: TOSS: Rohit Sharma has won the toss and Mumbai Indians elect to field.

7.23 pm: PITCH REPORT: “There is an even covering of grass on the wicket. The average first innings score at Wankhede is 192. So, a high scoring ground and there will be dew as well. Both teams would want to bat second here,” says reckons Mpumelelo Mbangwa.

7.17 pm: Both the teams have arrived at the Wankhede Stadium. TOSS in a few minutes from now.

7.15 pm: While RCB have tasted their first win of the season, MI’s campaign has been a bumpy ride so far and both sides cannot afford to take it lightly with the tournament having crossed its halfway mark. Add to that the Wankhede pitch makes tonight’s contest a run fest!

6.40 pm: Coming back to the IPL, here’s some STATS to get you in the mood for tonight’s Monday madness! 

Since 2016, Mumbai Indians have won six of the seven head to head contests against RCB, including all three at the Wankhede.

Rohit Sharma hasn’t scored a fifty in his last 13 innings, the longest for him playing for MI.

Jasprit Bumrah has taken more wickets against RCB than any other opposition, 16 wickets and counting. He has dismissed both Kohli and AB de Villiers twice each.

6.36 pm: Alright then, all the talk about the World Cup squad is done, for now, but ICYMI, here’s Jamie Alter with all the key takeaways (READ: India’s World Cup squad: The key takeaways)

6.25 pm: Both sides will not want to tinker with their combinations, but MI may be forced to make one change after young West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph landed badly on his shoulder while fielding. (READ: Joseph joins growing injury list, likely to miss remainder of IPL) If Alzarri, fails to pass the fitness test, then Lasith Malinga could take his spot.

6.20 pm: There’s a famous adage that goes like this: One swallow cannot make an summer. The same holds true for Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), who opened their account after six losses, but now need to carry the momentum against Mumbai Indians at the latter’s den. RCB are facing a team that knows a thing or two about comeback. Sit back, grab some coffee and enjoy this one, it’s Rohit Sharma vs Kohli, we’re building up to this one, a keenly contest contest, something which we hope will set the tone for a good week!

Royal Challengers Bangalore may have finally gotten a W against their name in the points table, but their joy might be short-lived when they run in to Mumbai Indians. Despite winning their first match of the season, RCB are still languishing at the bottom of the table and will need to win all their remaining fixtures to even have the slightest of hopes to make it to the Playoffs. RCB narrowly missed out on a win against MI when the two teams squared off previously failing to imply the finishing touches.

MI have picked up steam after initially showing signs of inconsistency. What makes them a stiff opposition is the fact that they don’t seem to give up easily. It is the same spirit that got them a hat-trick of wins and almost a fourth against the Rajasthan Royals and it’s what tips the scale in their favour. Their prime agenda should be to dismiss Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers cheaply, for without them firing, RCB’s batting has looked fragile.

Similarly, RCB’s biggest challenge will be to try and figure a way to tame Mumbai’s explosive batting line-up. Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock returned to form against Rajasthan Royals the other evening, in addition to the Kieron Pollard threat. Mumbai’s lower order has always bailed them out of trouble, but RCB will require to counter Hardik Pandya’s belligerent batting in the death. (FULL PREVIEW, CLICK HERE)