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Harsh Kalan in Mumbai 19 April 2014 - 07:44pm IST

Report: Match 5 – RCB v MI

Royal Challengers post big win despite initial jolts

The Royal Challengers Bangalore handed the Mumbai Indians their second straight loss in Pepsi IPL 2014. RCB’s seven-wicket triumph was fuelled by some outstanding bowling performances by Yuzvendra Chahal and Mitchell Starc, and a timely 99-run stand between Parthiv Patel and AB de Villiers. After restricting MI to 115, RCB made sure that despite losing three early wickets they did not make heavy weather of the run-chase.

Earlier in the evening, RCB won the coin toss and asked MI to bat first. Rohit Sharma went with the Michael Hussey-Aditya Tare combination at the top of the order in this match as well. The duo had just about got their eye in when Hussey (16) succumbed to Albie Morkel in the fourth over of the innings. Ambati Rayudu then came at one-down for MI. He paired up with Tare (17) to up the scoring rate, until the latter finally got out to a Varun Aaron delivery. The scorecard, at that point, reflected 52 for two in 6.5 overs.

MI needed the next batter – skipper Rohit Sharma – to stick around and help the team put up a big score. However, that was not to be, and Sharma (2) walked back to the pavilion with MI on 60 for three in 9.1 overs. And 10 runs later, the dangerous Kieron Pollard (3) got out caught in the deep off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal – who played a vital role in stifling the MI run-rate, and just like in his previous outing, ended up with very un-T20-like bowling figures (4-0-17-2).

Meanwhile, the rest of the RCB bowlers were also adding to the pressure created by the young spinner. Mitchell Starc further cornered MI when he dismissed a well-set Rayudu (35), and then off the very next delivery, got rid of Corey Anderson (18) – the last recognised batman in the line-up. While Starc missed out on a hat-trick, thanks to his exploits, MI were staring down the barrel at 101 for six in the 17th over.

With the momentum firmly on their side, the RCB bowlers went for the kill. And soon thereafter, Ashok Dinda struck to dismiss Zaheer Khan (0) and Varun Aaron knocked over Harbhajan Singh’s (8) stumps. Lasith Malinga (2) was then run out in the final over of the innings as MI played out their 20 overs for 115 for nine.

RCB’s response while chasing the modest target was initiated by the opening pair of Nic Maddinson and Parthiv Patel. After the duo negotiated the first two overs without much trouble, MI struck with one of their most lethal weapons – Malinga. The Sri Lankan pacer bowled yet another unplayable yorker that dismantled Maddinson’s (12) stumps, leaving RCB on 16 for one after three overs. This wicket clearly charged up the MI fielders and bowlers, who could sense the momentum shifting in their favour for the first time in the match.

Enter Zaheer Khan. The veteran Indian pacer, who was bowling the fourth over of the innings, delivered a massive double-blow within a space of three balls. He first got rid of Virat Kohli (0), who nicked the bowler to Harbhajan Singh in the slips. Then, after a dropped catch off his very next delivery, Zaheer trapped Yuvraj Singh (0) leg-before. From 16 for no loss, RCB had suddenly stumbled to 18 for three, in the fourth over.

At that point, RCB needed a big partnership that would stabilise their faltering innings. And thanks to Patel (57*) and AB de Villiers (45*), that is exactly what they got. Both batsmen paced their innings and rotated the strike while ensuring the seemingly subpar target did not get out of reach. While they did not have too many big overs, the duo struck regular boundaries as they crafted a game-changing stand. They brought up the team’s 100 in the 17th over, and a couple of deliveries later, Patel got to his half-century as well. Thereafter, both batsmen sped up the scoring rate and got RCB over the line in 17.3 overs with seven wickets in hand.

For MI, apart from Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga – who is the current Purple Cap holder – all other bowlers went wicketless.

Man of the Match: Parthiv Patel for his match-winning knock (57* off 45 balls)

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