Skipper Rohit Sharma led from the front with an unbeaten 56 to guide Mumbai Indians to a five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a thrilling encounter at the Wankhede Stadium.
The victory sealed in the last over propelled Mumbai to the top of the table and assured them of a playoff berth. On the other hand, RCB's eight loss of IPL 10 ended their playoff hopes. After electing to bat first, RCB, who once again left out Chris Gayle, managed to post 162-8 courtesy Ab de Villiers’ 43 from 27 balls and late-order flourish from Pawan Negi (35 from 25).
In what would should have been a comfortable chase, the home team were once again stretched till the end before Rohit ensured they did not succumb to another narrow defeat like one against RPS.
After Parthiv Patel was dismissed off the first ball by Aniket Choudhary, Jos Buttler and Nitish Rana put on 61 runs stand for the second wicket before Negi picked both wickets. Walking out to bat in the eight over, Rohit was cautious to begin with and hit his first four only on the eight ball that he faced.
He was soon joined by Pollard but the big man could last only 13 balls. It was Yuzvendra Chahal, who lured him with a loopy delivery and Pollard was caught at the boundary by Travid Head.
In the next over (14th), Krunal Pandya was retired hurt and MI Karn Sharma ahead of Hardik Pandya. With 59 required from six overs, Rohit hit Chaudhary for two delightful boundaries in the 15th over without taking any risks. Shane Watson bowled a tight 17th over, which included Karn’s wicket.
MI needed 30 from when Choudhary conceded a wide off his sixth ball and the next ball dispatched for a six by Hardik that brought the equation down to 18 from 12. Rohit then hit a six in the penultimate over bowled by Sreenath Aravind and also brought up his fifty in the over.
The home team needed seven runs in the final over and got over the line when Rohit struck a four on the fifth ball. It was a memorable outing for Rohit who completed 4000 IPL runs to go with his Man of the Match prize.
Earlier, injured Harbhajan Singh’s replacement Karn was give the ball in the fourth over and he dismissed Mandeep Singh as RCB yet again tried a new opening combination. Earlier in the over, captain Virat Kohli had hit Karn for a six and he followed it up with another maximum in the next over of Jasprit Bumrah. However, the dashing batsman perished in the sixth over as Mitchell McClenaghan picked the big wicket with a slower off cutter. de Villiers then announced in arrival in style with a four and a six and built a crucial 45-run partnership with Travis Head before Krunal struck to remove the latter in the 11th over.
The left-arm spinner then dealt a double blow as he got rid of de Villiers for the fourth time in four innings. RCB then struggled to get going as MI bounced back before Negi’s three sixes in the end helped them cross the 160-run mark.
Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 162/8 in 20 overs (de Villiers 43, Pawan Negi 35, Mitchell McClenaghan 3/34) lost to Mumbai Indians 165/5 in 19.5 overs (Rohit Sharma 56 not out, Jos Buttler 33, Pawan Negi 2/17) by 5 wickets
Man of the Match: Rohit Sharma