Match Report Match Report: M31 - MI vs RCB by Arun Gopalakrishnan 15 April 2019 The Mumbai Indians openers laid the foundation for the chase with a brisk 70-run partnership Match Recap The Mumbai Indians made it 2-0 against Royal Challengers Bangalore after they followed up their win in Match 7 in Bengaluru with a 5-wicket win at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday night. After winning the toss and opting to bowl, MI restricted the visitors to 171-7 and then chased down the runs in 19 overs. The win was MI’s fifth in eight matches in VIVO IPL 2019. RCB have seven losses in eight matches this season and now face the demanding equation of having to win their remaining six matches to give themselves a chance of making the playoffs. The Mumbai Indians openers laid the foundation for the chase with a brisk 70-run partnership. After Rohit Sharma (28) and Quinton de Kock (40 of 26 balls, 5 fours & 2 sixes) were dismissed in the same over, Ishan Kishan’s cameo of 21 from 9 balls ensured the momentum stayed with his team. After Ishan was dismissed, MI were tied down for a little while with the introduction of Moeen Ali; the climbing required run rate resulted in the dismissals of Suryakumar Yadav (29) and Krunal Pandya (11 from 21 balls). MI needed 22 runs from the last two overs, when the RCB captain – influenced by instructions from bowling coach Ashish Nehra – handed the ball to Pawan Negi; Hardik Pandya was beaten first ball, but he then collected two sixes and two fours off the next four balls to settle the matter. Hardik finished unbeaten on 37 from 16 balls. The Mumbai Indians, despite not having one batsman make a score greater than 40, had polished off the chase of 172 with one full over to spare. The Royal Challengers Bangalore innings in the evening was of three parts. Put into bat, they lost their captain Virat Kohli cheaply. At the other end, Parthiv Patel (28) batted aggressively ensuring the Mumbai Indians bowlers did not tie down both ends; the left-hander struck four boundaries and a six, and dominated a 37-run stand with AB de Villiers. Then de Villiers and Moeen Ali added 95 runs for the third wicket taking RCB to 144 in 17 overs. After Moeen was dismissed, de Villiers stepped on the accelerator to provide RCB the end overs flourish. But poor match awareness and poor execution of skills saw the visitors lose three wickets and lose grip over proceedings in the last over. RCB were 45-1 at the end of the powerplay, scored 41 in the next six and added 85 in the final eight overs to finish at 171-7 – at least ten runs short of what they could have finished at had de Villiers not been run out at the start of the last over. For Mumbai Indians, Lasith Malinga – recalled into the side at the expense of the injured Alzarri Joseph – picked up four wickets to be the most successful bowler in the match. Jason Behrendorff and Hardik picked up a wicket each. Standout batting performance The conditions were demanding early on, and AB de Villiers played well within himself, giving himself the time to size up the pace of the surface. Just after the ten over mark, he was 20 from 22 balls, at which point he showed his first intentions of cutting loose; he attempted to pull Hardik Pandya, but the ball took the top edge and flew into the sightscreens behind the wicket-keeper. He was the only batsman who could dominate Malinga; he shuffled around the crease – using both its depth and width – and disturbed the pacer’s length. He deposited the Sri Lankan pacer into the stands at midwicket, and then collected two sixes backward of square. De Villiers brought up his half-century off 41 balls, and carried on to make 75 when he was refused a second run by his partner and had to turn back, but couldn’t beat the direct hit from Kieron Pollard. His 51-ball knock contained six boundaries and fours sixes. Notable Support Act – Batting Moeen Ali hit five sixes and a boundary in his 32-ball 50; the left-hander, who came out to bat at number four, favoured two regions – midwicket and cover. He collected two sixes off the leg-spinner – either side of the pitch, and then took a liking for the left-arm pace of Behrendorff, whom he hit for two sixes and a four in the sixteenth over. Moeen was dismissed immediately after he’d brought up his half-century when he top-edged a slower delivery from Malinga and was caught at backward square-leg. Standout bowling performance Lasith Malinga was yet again the standout performer with the ball for the Mumbai Indians. The Sri Lankan pacer had his troubles against AB de Villiers, but conceded only 8 runs off the 16 deliveries he bowled to the remaining batsmen. Malinga struck twice in the eighteenth over – when he dismissed the well-set Moeen Ali and Marcus Stoinis, and then collected two more scalps in the twentieth over, to finish with figures of 4-0-31-4. Moeen Ali and Yuzvendra Chahal were RCB’s standout bowlers; the two spinners returned combined figures of 8-0-45-4. Moeen struck with his first ball when he got his off-break to turn big and castle Rohit Sharma. Three balls later, he trapped Quinton de Kock LBW – this time with a ball bowled from round the stumps that straightened and rapped the batsman on the pads in line with the middle and leg stumps. Chahal dismissed Ishan Kishan immediately after being hit for a six; the left-hander was stumped with a delivery fired wide of the batsman. In his last over, he had Suryakumar Yadav reaching out to a ball that had pitched wide outside off and was turning further away, only to hit it to the long-off fielder. Chahal bowled 13 dot balls in his spell and finished with figures of 2-27. Notable Support Act – Bowling Though Jasprit Bumrah and Rahul Chahar finished wicketless, they were impressive with the ball. Bumrah, brought on as first change, bowled two good overs in the powerplay and then came back to bowl the 17th and 19th; he finished his spell with figures of 4-1-22-0. Chahar, who finished with figures of 4-0-31-0, should have had the wicket of Moeen Ali, but a difficult catch was grassed by the wicket-keeper. The leg-spinner repeatedly hit the good length areas, and used the wrong’un generously. Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians: 172-5 in 19.0 overs (Quinton de Kock 40, Hardik Pandya 37*) defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore: (AB de Villiers 75, Moeen Ali 50, Lasith Malinga 4-31) by 5 wickets. Stat of the Match With his first six in this match, AB de Villiers became only the second batsman (after Chris Gayle) to hit 200 sixes in the IPL. Man of the Match: Lasith Malinga, for his 4-31.