IPL 2019: Pandya, de Kock dazzle as MI thumps RCB by five wickets

After the Virat Kohli-led RCB posted a competitive total of 171/7, Mumbai, sailing on Hardik Pandya's breezy knock of 37 in 16 balls, crossed the line with an over and five wickets to spare.

Hardik Pandya's 16-ball 37 helped Mumbai Indians inflict a crushing defeat on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Hardik Pandya's 16-ball 37 helped Mumbai Indians inflict a crushing defeat on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.   -  SPORTZPICS

Hours after the national selectors named India’s 15-member squad for the World Cup, Hardik Pandya proved why he is considered a match-winner.

After the Virat Kohli-led RCB posted a competitive total of 171/7, Mumbai, sailing on the younger Pandya's breezy knock of 37 in 16 balls, crossed the line with an over and five wickets to spare.

Chasing a tough total, Mumbai got off to a good start with captain Rohit Sharma (28 off 19 balls) and Quinton de Kock (40 off 26 balls) stitching together a 70-run opening partnership before both of them were dismissed by Moeen Ali.

With the ball starting to turn, the run flow slowed down but what looked like a difficult chase at one point was taken care of by the flamboyant Hardik.

The 25-year-old Hardik did take a few balls to settle down but then went hammer and tongs at a lacklustre RCB bowling line-up, which once again failed to defend a big total.

While spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Moeen Ali scalped two wickets apiece, the pacers looked abysmal once again.

After three consecutive wins, Mumbai Indians, which momentarily seemed to have lost the plot in its last game against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday, bounced right back thanks to a Hardik and de Kock show.

As it happened

On the other hand, it was, once again, a disappointing outing for RCB, which failed to cross the line despite AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali hitting impressive half centuries.

After losing captain Virat Kohli cheaply for eight runs and Parthiv Patel (28 off 20 balls) inside seven overs, de Villiers (75 in 51 balls) along with Ali (50 runs in 32 balls) resurrected the innings with a 95-run stand for the third wicket.

The South African smashed six fours and four sixes, while Ali hit five sixes and a lone boundary.

But Sri Lankan pace ace Lasith Maliga (4-31) brought the host back into the game, putting the brakes on RCB batting, removing Ali and then bagging Marcus Stoinis's prized scalp for a duck.

His efforts not only helped Mumbai stay in the game but also earned him the Man of the Match award.

While this win lifted Mumbai’s play-off chances, RCB’s toil continued. It is all but eliminated from the playoff race and requires a high NRR and victory from all its remaining six matches to scrape through.