Rayudu-Pollard show stuns RCB at M Chinnaswamy Stadium
By IPL desk
Mumbai 14 May 2012
The Mumbai Indians battled rain, a malfunctioning light tower and the ever-probing Royal Challengers Bangalore to emerge victorious at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Ambati Rayudu (81*) and Kieron Pollard (52*) completed a stellar comeback for MI to register a five-wicket win. As a result of this victory, the Mumbai franchise now has 18 points from 14 games, and is placed second in league standings at the moment.
MI needed 172 for the win, but RCB came out in the second half with renewed enthusiasm and purpose. Sachin Tendulkar was the first to go without troubling the scorers after he smashed one straight to Virat Kohli off Zaheer Khan. Herschelle Gibbs (2) was looking good, but decided to go for a third run too late and only managed to get himself run-out. At two wickets down with just four runs on the board, MI needed to settle down. In Rohit Sharma (5) they had an in-form class player, but Vinay Kumar ensured he wouldn’t make a telling impact on this match after collecting a simple return catch in the 4th over.
Dinesh Karthik stroked three boundaries and seemed destined for more, but Muttiah Muralitharan had other ideas. The wily spinner dismissed the MI wicketkeeper-batsman in his very first over to reduce the away side to 44 for four. The Royal Challengers were on top, and it only got better for them after Harshal Patel dismissed the dangerous Dwayne Smith (6).
However, Ambati Rayudu (81*) and Kieron Pollard breathed life into the MI chase with their aggressive intent. The duo’s battling display took the game to the last over. With 14 required off the last six deliveries, Pollard (52*) powered MI home with two balls to spare, giving MI a brilliant five-wicket win.
Earlier, on a gloomy evening in Bengaluru, Harbhajan Singh won the toss and decided to field first. After a rain delay, MI drew first blood in the form of Chris Gayle’s (6) wicket. The in-form Jamaican edged a Munaf Patel delivery on to his stumps to give the away side the early advantage. RCB needed Virat Kohli (3) to fire, but the skipper was run out after some brilliant work in the field from Herschelle Gibbs. At 11 for two, RCB were under immense pressure to get some runs on the board. But there was no respite as Saurabh Tiwary (21) went too deep into his crease and somehow managed to hit the stumps with his back leg. With the top order in tatters, AB de Villiers (14) was the key to RCB’s fortunes. But Kieron Pollard accounted for the dangerous Protea after he drove uppishly into the hands of Lasith Malinga.
It just wasn’t going to plan for the home side, but with Tillakaratne Dilshan still at the crease, they were not out of it just yet. The Sri Lankan, along with Mayank Agarwal (64), brought some sanity to proceedings with their 46-run partnership. However, RP Singh came back into the attack and broke the threatening partnership by knocking over Dilshan’s (47) stumps. At 133 for five with just 15 balls remaining, RCB were stuttering to a modest total. But Agarwal’s big-hitting at the end ensured that RCB ended up with a commanding 171 for six in 20 overs.
Scorecard Man-of-the-match: Ambati Rayudu for his match-winning 54-ball 81* that included six fours and four sixes