The Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers turned in a superlative performance to help defeat the Mumbai Indians in Match 31 of VIVO IPL 2018. Given the task of batting first on a difficult track at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, RCB posted 167-7, after which their bowlers restricted the visitors to 153-7. RCB halted their two-match losing streak with the 14-run win and the result took them to fifth in the eight-team standings. With this result, MI – the defending champions – have two wins from 8 matches.
The RCB bowlers had come in for plenty of tap - particularly in the death overs - in their last few games, and their shocking display had cost RCB wins and crucial points. On Tuesday night though, the bowlers were close to their best. Umesh Yadav once again shone with the new ball – dismissing the in-form Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma off consecutive deliveries, Yuzvendra Chahal was stingy in the middle overs, and most importantly Mohammed Siraj and Tim Southee were exceptional in the death overs. RCB had 62 to defend in the final five overs, which was reduced to 34 off the final three overs, but Siraj, Colin de Grandhomme and Southee bowled three outstanding overs – conceding only 20 runs – to deny the visitors.
For MI, Hardik Pandya’s 50 – made from 42 balls – would be the top-score, and his 56-run partnership with his elder brother Krunal (23 from 19 balls) would be the biggest partnership of the innings. MI scored 40-3 in the first six overs, added 66 runs in the middle overs, and a further 47 runs in the final five to finish at 153-7.
Earlier in the evening, the RCB innings was essentially a tale of three big overs. After the first three overs had only produced 11 runs, Manan Vohra got stuck into of JP Duminy and took 22 runs off the off-spinner. 20 runs were added to the RCB total in the tenth over – bowled by Hardik Pandya; this time the damage caused by McCullum and Kohli. The hosts finished their innings with a flourish; Colin de Grandhomme ruined Mitchell McClenaghan’s figures by hitting him for three sixes in the last four balls of the innings. 24 runs were added to the RCB total in that final over. Where 66 runs were scored in those three big overs, RCB only managed 101 runs in the remaining seventeen overs, to eventually finish at 167-7.
Vohra, asked to open the innings, would be RCB’s top-scorer with 45, while Brendon McCullum (37), Virat Kohli (32) and de Grandhomme contributed. From 43-1 in the powerplay, RCB added 80 runs in the middle overs, before losing their way towards the end. Thanks to that last over onslaught, the hosts were still able to add 44 runs in the final five overs.
Standout batting performance
After a slow start, it was Manan Vohra who gave the RCB innings some much needed impetus. The 24-year old was 7 from 10 balls (which included one six off Duminy) before he turned on the screws; he then scored 38 from 20 balls – which contained two fours and three sixes – before he was dismissed LBW by the leg-spinner Mayank Markande. Vohra scored the bulk of his runs through the leg-side, but hit two sixes on the off-side off Duminy – one over long-off and one over cover.
Notable Support Act – Batting
Brendon McCullum, who kept his place in the RCB XI as replacement for the ill AB de Villiers – made a useful contribution – this time batting at number three. After scoring at a run-a-ball early on, he accelerated and hit two sixes and three fours, before a Hardik Pandya direct hit at the non-striker’s end caught him short of his ground. McCullum scored 37 from 25 balls and was involved in an important 60-run partnership with captain Virat Kohli, who himself contributed 32 from 26 balls.
Standout bowling performance
Hardik Pandya (3-28) and Mitchell McClenaghan (2-34) were MI’s most successful bowlers. At one stage in his spell, Hardik was on a hat-trick – after he had dismissed Mandeep Singh and Kohli off consecutive deliveries. McClenaghan’s figures were outstanding after his first three overs – 3-0-11-2, only for de Grandhomme’s last over blitz to ruin his evening. Jasprit Bumrah (1-22) and Krunal Pandya (0-24) were economical, the latter giving a good account of himself on a spinner-friendly surface.
For RCB, it was undoubtedly the bowling line-up’s best showing this season. Southee, Umesh and Siraj picked up two wickets apiece. Southee (2-20 from 3 overs), who dismissed opener Ishan Kishan with a full swinging delivery in the first over, bowled two economical overs upfront, and then came back to bowl an outstanding final over. Umesh (2-29) was taken for a few boundaries in his first spell, but he broke the backbone of MI’s batting by dismissing the in-form Suryakumar Yadav (dismissed LBW by an inswinger) and Rohit Sharma (caught behind off the inside edge) off consecutive deliveries; he finished off his night conceding just six runs in his final over. Umesh’s other contribution to the team was the rocket-like throw from square-leg that resulted in the run out of JP Duminy and broke a blossoming 5th wicket partnership.
Siraj dismissed the returning Kieron Pollard in the eighth over, and then bowled a fine 19th over – in which he only gave away 4 runs, while also picking up the wicket of Krunal Pandya. Siraj’s final figures read 4-0-28-2.
A word of appreciation for the leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who only conceded 23 runs in his four overs, and for de Grandhomme, who gave away only five singles in the 18th over.
Stat of the Match
At the end of 19 overs, both teams had scored 143 runs. While RCB managed to score 24 runs in the final over, MI only managed 10 runs in their 20th over.
Royal Challengers Bangalore 167-7 (Manan Vohra 45, Brendon McCullum 37, Virat Kohli 32, Hardik Pandya 3-28) beat
Mumbai Indians 153-7 (Hardik Pandya 50, Tim Southee 2-25, Mohammed Siraj 2-28, Umesh Yadav 2-29) by 14 runs.
Man of the Match:
Tim Southee, for his two wickets and his brilliant last over.